High Fall

Listen to the word ‘wonderful’ said twice. What is the difference?


The first one (using a high fall) sounds more genuine than the second one (with a mid fall).

What is a High Fall?

  • GB English speakers use a high fall in their intonation to show that they are being enthusiastic or genuine.
  • A high fall starts with a high pitch level followed by falling ↘ tone.
  • If the speaker starts at a lower pitch, it can show lack of interest or even sarcasm.


Repeat the following with a high fall:

What a beautiful ↘day!
You’re very clever, ↘aren’t you?
Why ↘not?


– Read the following sentences and decide if a high fall or a low fall is more appropriate in the context. Check your answers with the audio.

A. The moon looks amazing tonight. B. Don’t you just love it when your flight is delayed. C. Thanks for losing my favourite jumper. D. My daughter sings like an absolute angel. E. Fabulous. Another parking ticket. F. I’m so excited that we’re finally meeting up!

A. High-fall B. Low-fall C. Low-fall D. High-fall E. Low-fall F. High-fall