Let’s look at how we typically use pitch in a sentence, and how you can practice to sound more American.
In a simple sentence, we have 3 pitches. Let’s call them 1, 2 and 3. One is low, two is in the middle and three is high.
You might find this hard to do, so start with just the numbers.
1 - 2- 3
Moving your hand can help you move your voice pitch, too, so move from low to high as you say 1 -2- 3.
Now, start on 2, then rise to 3 and fall to 1.
2 -3 - 1
This is the pattern for most simple statements in English. for example,
I like it. 2 -3 -1
I have one. 2 -3-1
She wants to. 2 -3-1
I start my sentence on a 2, rise to a 3 for the stressed word, and fall to a one to show the end of the thought.
I did it! 2 -3- 1
Don’t go- o - o. 2 31
I ca-a-a-n. 2 31
We need to ta-a-a-lk,. 222 31
Notice how when the sentence is longer, I simply stay on the 2 until the stressed word.
I have to be-e-e there. 222 3 1
It’s a good idea to record yourself and listen to hear if you are changing your pitch. You don’t need a big pitch change, but you can exaggerate a little at first to make sure you are going up and down.
Use the video above and the recordings below to compare your speech to the model. Turn on the recording tool, play the model, then imitate what you hear. You can then play it back to see if you used the same pitch patterns as the model.
I like it. 2-3-1
He needs to. 2-3-1
I can't do it. 2-2-3-1
We don't have any.
Where are you? 2-3-1
What time is it? 2-3-1-1