This video is an exercise to help you improve your American accent. Here you will learn about word stress and questions vs. statements.

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Today I'm going to talk about word stress and questions vs. statements. In English, statements generally tend to go down in pitch throughout the phrase. I'll be there by three. "I'll" is higher than "three". Questions, on the other hand, tend to go up at the end. Have you seen Mary? Have you seen Mary? Let's look at three phrases that can be either questions or statements. For example, "you know what I mean". This can be a statement if you're talking to somebody and you're explaining something, but you know that they understand, maybe because they've had the same experience. You might say, "You know what I mean." Statement. But if you're talking and you want to make sure that the person is understanding you, you might say, "You know what I mean?" Asking a question. Statement: You know what I mean, You know what I mean. Voice goes down. Question: You know what I mean? You know what I mean? Voice goes up at the end.

The simple word "me" could be a question or a statement. Let's say, for example, you're with a group of people and someone says, "who can help me tomorrow? You might volunteer and say me. Me, Me, voice goes down in pitch. Me. But let's say the person who asked "who can help me?" is staring right at you. And you feel like, are they asking me? Then you might say "Me?" Question. Me? As in, are you specifically asking me to help? Me, statement. Me? Question.

See you tomorrow. Let's say you're at work and you know that you're going to be at work tomorrow and so is your colleague. When you part ways you might say "See you tomorrow." Statement. But maybe you're not sure that your colleague will be there. Then you might say, see you tomorrow? Question. That would be like asking, are you going to be in tomorrow? See you tomorrow? Statement: see you tomorrow. Voice goes down. Question: see you tomorrow? Voice goes up at the end.

The next clip uses free software that can analyze speech. See RachelEnglish.com for a link to this free software. Here you will see the pitch of the three phrases in both question and answer form. You know what I mean. You know what I mean? Me. Me? See you tomorrow. See you tomorrow?

Now you will hear some phrases. You need to decide if it is a question or a statement based on the word stress. You're coming at three ... You're coming at three. Question. I am trying to confirm that this person will be coming at three. You're coming at three? Voice goes up at the end. He saw her yesterday. He saw her yesterday. Statement. He saw her yesterday. Voice goes down throughout the phrase. We're going. We're going. Statement. Voice goes down in pitch. We're going? We're going? Question. Voice goes up in pitch. He hurt her feelings? He hurt her feelings? Question: voice goes up at the end. He hurt her feelings? They said no. They said no. Statement. They said no. Voice goes down in pitch throughout that phrase. We'll see them Monday? We'll see them Monday? Question. Voice goes up at the end. We'll see them Monday?


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