When learning English, pay close attention to your intonation. In certain situations, intonation can make or break a conversation.

You can change the meaning of some English expressions dramatically if you change your intonation. For instance, using rising and falling intonation with the word really in order to communicate different emotional reactions.

The word really has two meanings, depending on its intonation.

Really? (rising intonation, question) = surprise

Really. (falling intonation, statement) = disbelief


 

Read and analyze the dialogue below and then take the quiz to help you learn the concepts better.

Alice: All of the guys said they would come to our barbecue on Saturday.

Bianca: Really? Even William?

Alice: Yep, even William. He said he’d bring his new girlfriend, Claire.

Bianca: Really. I didn’t know he had a girlfriend.

 

Good job!

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