Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Don’t be monotone when you speak English!

This can bore people and prevent connection, even before the conversation even starts.

In today’s episode, Lindsay and Michelle share with you how you can stretch certain words to show more emotion and be more animated when you want to.

Listen in and learn how to draw out your words to show emphasis and personality.

Monotonous Speaking

Today’s episode is for listeners who want to reach the 99% fluency level.

There are listeners out there that are on an intermediate level and want to move to the advanced native-like level.

Lindsay and Michelle share with you why your speaking tone is so important to elevate your English.

If you speak in a monotone manner, it’s boring.

People will not be interested in having a conversation with you.

Make It Easy For People to Understand You

Michelle adds that people don’t expect to hear a monotone sound and when they do hear someone speak in one tone, it makes it difficult to understand fully.

It is also an extra effort for the listener to fill in the meaning of what the monotonous speaker is saying.

Lindsay asks Michelle if she knows someone who speaks monotonously.

Michelle answers Ben Stein who is a comedian that speaks monotonously as part of his act.

Michelle continues to mention that this episode will be helpful for listeners to learn the importance of tone, timing, and stress when speaking.

It helps you build better connections and relationships.

Using the Right Tone

Michelle shares that today’s episode was inspired by a show she watched where they lengthened the pronunciation of the word “terrible.”

They made it more expressive and strong.

Lindsay and Michelle discuss this further by distinguishing the difference between the examples below:

Example 1 – What a terrible day.

Example 2 – What a terrrible day!

The first example can be just as emphatic as the second example if you put the right stress on the word “terrible.”

In the second example, where the word “terrible” is lengthened, it makes the sentence sound more expressive and strong.

This would interest the listener to ask what is the reason for having a terrible day.

Michelle mentions it is dramatic and it can be possible to overdo it so you have to be careful about being too over expressive.


Here are some roleplays done by Lindsay and Michelle to give you examples of what they mean to lengthen the pronunciation of words for emphasis.

In this scenario, Lindsay just had a new haircut.

Lindsay: What do you think of my new haircut?

Michelle: It looks amaaaaaazing!

The stretching of the words “amazing” gives emphasis to how Michelle appreciates Lindsay’s new haircut.

Comparing this roleplay to the example above shows you that the lengthening of the pronunciation can also work for expressing something in a positive light.

It doesn’t always have to be used for emphasizing negatively.

Here is another scenario where Lindsay went out for lunch.

Michelle: Did you have fun today?

Lindsay: Yes! The food was increeeeeedible.

This is similar to the first roleplay.

It is a good way to express yourself when you feel great about something.

Lindsay mentions that with this topic, it would be funny if you try and do this over text.

The spelling looks really weird, but it can be used.

Here is the last scenario where Lindsay and Michelle arrive at a party and make a comment about the venue.

Lindsay: Oh no. This is the venue?

Michelle: Yikes. This is aaaaawful!

You would notice with these examples that native English speakers stretch vowels to express emphasis.

Michelle says that it is not easy and common to drag out a consonant.

Lindsay agrees with Michelle on this and says that you would also notice that this technique is often used in adjectives.

Here are a few more examples that can use in your own conversations and practice.

  • That was a huuuge meal.
  • That was sooo much fun!
  • There is neeeever enough time.
  • That was the funniest movie everrr!

Can You Use This in Business?

Michelle asks Lindsay if she can do this in a professional setting.

Lindsay says yes you can do this when you are talking to a co-worker or when you want to emphasize something when you are presenting.

This technique is something that suits an animated personality.

But if you are someone who speaks monotonously, it will help you be more expressive with this technique and can help you make better connections when speaking.

Lindsay also adds that you have to be careful not to go overboard with this.

You can use it to sound playful, but you have to consider the situation.

In a business setting, there are times you can be more relaxed and more expressive but there are also times that you have to be professional and more even-toned.


Lindsay and Michelle have shared great insights into how you can avoid sounding monotonous when speaking in English.

How you express yourself through speaking affects the message of what you are saying too.

Stress, emphasis, and tone are important to get the right message across to your listener.

It also adds personality to the way you speak and makes your listener interested to hear more from you.

Native English speakers use intonation that goes up and down to convey their emotion and even lengthen certain words for emphasis.

Try the examples mentioned by Lindsay and Michelle and practice lengthening words to break the monotony in how you speak.

What words do you often hear being lengthened in English?

Share them in the comments below and include what tone you think it is trying to convey.

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