YouTube: in a rush
Please watch the video first.

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The image is the pitch contour from PRAAT. It shows that the rising pitch starts from "in a rush" instead of "rush". Is it because "in a rush" an idiom?

  • I think it's just for a dramatic effect, to make the speaker sound nervous or anxious. I don't think the pitch can start rising from "rush", because it's the last word in the sentence which is where the pitch normally goes down - unless you want to sound like something's scared the feces out of you. But you can try experimenting with various intonations of this sentence and see for yourself how the feeling changes.
    – eltomito
    Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 10:45
  • 2
    The video is not conversational, but animated storytelling. The speaker uses a pleading pitch to emphasize rush, unrelated to the expression in a rush. Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 13:48
  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it's asking about the peculiar intonation pattern as spoken by someone who's obviously not a native Anglophone in the first place. Besides which, a native speaker wouldn't use singular they in a voiceover for video clearly focused on a single male (he's he, not they). Commented Dec 31, 2022 at 16:12
  • The person speaking in the video is an American. I don't hear any other ethnicity in their pronunciation.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 15, 2023 at 14:10
  • @Mari-LouA Yes, the man is an American and you can find the video here, voanews.com/a/6708215.html Commented Jan 25, 2023 at 5:39

1 Answer 1


This seems to merely the normal falling intonation in a statement. The prepositional phrase receives the intonation in the sentence, rising from the unstressed subject, (if you are going to have falling intonation, you must first rise!) and then falling to the end.

The intonation seems somewhat exaggerated here, this seems typical of the slightly exaggerated style of speech that native speakers adopt when creating content for non-native speakers. Is this from an ESL video?


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