Yes, please. [falling tone vs flat tone]


Senior Member

What is the difference between the falling tone and the flat tone when you say

Yes, please.

Yes, please.

Are different meanings conveyed?
  • 'Please' is slightly lower than 'Yes', unless you want to be extremely enthusiastic, when you raise your voice and use more emphasis. Adults don't do this often.
    The very enthusiastic version is "Yes-plea-ease" with flat intonation on the first two syllables and rising on the third. Sometimes even extended to four syllables, rising, falling and rising again.

    But you may find that we don't usually analyse English intonation in the way you do in Chinese. For us, stress is more important than intonation. In that way, Yes please is neutral, Yes please is enthusiastic, whatever the intonation.
    I am confused. Some native speakers say the intonation is very important. But you say the stress is more important than the intonation.

    In the website I provided, which is neutral and which is enthusiastic? Is the one with falling tone neutral?

    You said one is neutral and the other is enthusiastic. Do they convey different meaning? Is Yes, please, sort of like a command, and Yes, please sort of like a request?

    Intonation is important, but it is mostly attached to the stress. Different grammatical structures have falling, rising, or falling-rising intonation, but this change of pitch occurs on the main stressed syllable of the phrase.