Exercise 1-10; Individual Practice CD 1 Track 17
Now, let's see what you can do with the same sentence, just by changing the stress around to different words. I'll tell you which meaning to express. When you hear the tone +, say the sentence as quickly as you can, then I'll say the sentence for you. To test your ear, I'm going to repeat the sentences in random order. Try to determine which word I'm stressing. The answers are given in parentheses, but don't look unless you really have to. Here we go.
1. Indicate that he borrowed the money and didn't steal it. (5) +
2. Indicate that you are denying having said that he stole it. (2) +
3. Indicate that you think he stole something besides money. (7) +
4. Indicate that you were not the person to say it. (1) +
5. Indicate that you don't think that he was the person who stole it. (4) +
6. Indicate that you didn't say it outright, but did suggest it in some way. (3) +
7. Indicate that he many have stolen a different amount of money. (6) +
Practice these sentences on your own, really exaggerating the word that you think should be stressed. In the beginning, you're going to feel that this is ridiculous. (Nobody stresses this hard! Nobody talks like this! People are going to laugh at me!) Yet as much as you may stress, you're probably only going to be stressing about half as much as you should.
+ Pause the CD and practice the sentences in random order ten times.
Another reason you must overexaggerate is because when you get tired, emotional, or relaxed, you will stop paying attention. When this happens, like a rubber band, you're going to snap back to the way you originally were sounding (10 percent). So, if you just stretch yourself to the exact position where you ideally want to be, you'll go back almost completely to the old way when you relax. For practice, then, stretch yourself far beyond the normal range of intonation (150 percent), so when you relax, you relax back to a standard American sound (100 percent).
We All Do It
Possibly about this time you're thinking, Well, maybe you do this in English, but in my language, I just really don't think that we do this. I'd like you to try a little exercise.