Intonation is actually more important that pronouncing every sound correctly. For example, stressing the wrong syllable in words can make you hard to understand or even change the meaning of the word. By stressing, I mean, raise the pitch of your voice (speak with a higher tone or note) and elongate the sound or sounds of the stressed word. (make it longer) You can also say the stressed word a little louder.
Pronounce desert by stressing the second syllable and you are talking about a sweet to eat after a meal, like a piece of cake. Stress the first syllable and you are talking about a dry place like the Sahara, Gobi or Thar.
Just by giving stress to different words in the same sentence, you can change the meaning.
.Remember, say the stressed word longer, stronger and higher.
1. I didn't say he stole the money. Stress the word I. The sentence means that I wasn't the one who said it.
2. I didn't say he stole the money. Now stress didn't. Now the sentence may imply that I may have said something else or just simply that I DIDN"T make the statement.
3. I didn't say he stole the money. Stress the word say. I didn't SAY he stole the money. That wasn't what I said.
4. I didn't say he stole the money. Now stress he. Now it means that it wasn't he who stole the money, but maybe another guy, or maybe a woman.
5. I didn't say he stole the money. Stress stole. I didn't say he STOLE the money. He may have earned it or borrowed it.
6. I didn't say he stole the money. Stress the. I didn't say the stole THE money, the particular money we are both know we are talking about.
7. I didn't say he stole the money. Stress money. He may have stolen something other than money.
This is a little hard to explain without you being able to hear me stress each word. Hopefully, you get the idea. If not, feel free to schedule a free trial lesson with me, AmericanEnglishCoach on italki.com
Intonation not only deals with stress and pitch, but also rhythm and timing and