fall on

luckybc

Member
Vietnamese
Hi everyone,

Can someone explain to me what "the intonation falls on the tag ..." in the following sentence mean?

[Question tags - Grammar]

The intonation falls on the tag because the statement is clearly true.

Example:
It's cold, isn't it?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The tag is pronounced with a falling intonation.

    It's time to go now, isn't it? (I'm asking because I'm not sure.) The tag is said with a rising intonation.
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    We don't know the source of the quoted text and have no context. The intonation of a tag question depends on context - is the sentence before the question a statement of certainty or a statement expressing uncertainty?
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Falls' sometimes means just "is (located)": the stress falls on the first syllable. Because of this, I was slightly confused by the original sentence at first. But as this is about intonation, yes, it means "is falling, goes lower". There is no real question in 'It's cold, isn't it?' (when the weather is obviously cold), so the tag has falling intonation.
     

    luckybc

    Member
    Vietnamese
    'Falls' sometimes means just "is (located)": the stress falls on the first syllable. Because of this, I was slightly confused by the original sentence at first. But as this is about intonation, yes, it means "is falling, goes lower". There is no real question in 'It's cold, isn't it?' (when the weather is obviously cold), so the tag has falling intonation.
    I'm learning about the question tags for expressions in my real life. "It's cold, isn't it?" in this case, it's an invitation to continue the conversation.

    Thank you very much!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top