Intonation

Definition: Intonation refers to the pitch of someone's voice. The last syllable of each rhythmic group inside the sentence is pronounced at a higher pitch than the rest of the sentence, while the final rhythmic group's final syllable is pronounced at a lower pitch. The only exception to this is questions: in this case, the last rhythmic group's final syllable is also at a high pitch.

In French, intonation and accent are a property of the phrase, rather than the word.
Discussions of French intonation commonly assume that there is an obligatory rising accent assigned to final full syllable of a phrase (For Example: "un enfant SAGE" - 'a good child') and an optional early rise that occurs somewhere before the late rise (For Example: "un ENfnat SAGE"). A number of factors have been observed to influence the appearance of the early rise, including number of syllables in the phrase, rhythmic context, morphological status, and segmental characteristics of a word’s first syllable.
Basic French Phrases:
Oui. Yes.
Non. No.
S'il vous plaît. Please.
Merci. Thank you.
Je vous en prie. You're welcome.
Excusez-moi. Excuse me.
Je suis désolé(e). I'm sorry.
Bonjour. Good morning.
Bonsoir. Good evening.
Bonne nuit. Good night.
French Phrases for Meeting and Greeting
Parlez-vous anglais?
Do you speak English?

Est-ce qu'il y a quelqu'un qui parle anglais?
Does anyone here speak English?

Excusez mon français.
Excuse my poor French.

Je ne parle qu'un petit peu de français.
I only speak a little French.

Comment vous appelez-vous?
What is your name?

Je m'appelle Carlos.
My name is Carlos.

Voici Florence.
This is Florence.

Comment allez-vous?
How are you?

Est-ce que tout va bien?
How have you been?

Je vais bien, merci.
I'm fine, thank you.

Je suis très heureux de vous rencontrer.
I am very glad to meet you.

J'ai été très heureux de faire votre connaissance.
It was nice meeting you.

Je ne comprends pas.
I don't understand.

Qu'avez-vous dit?
What did you say?

Pouvez-vous parler plus lentement?
Could you speak more slowly?

Je comprends parfaitement bien.
I understand perfectly.



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