Free English Pronunciation and Accent Reduction Lessons
|Home||English Pronunciation Pod 14|
Saturday December 13th, 2008
In today's podcast, we're going to learn the rules of syllable stress in 2 syllable words. We'll also discuss how to correctly stress a syllable or a word in English..
What is "stress" and how do we stress a word or syllable in English?
A lot of people have the wrong idea of how to stress a word or syllable in English. Many students think that you stress a word or syllable by using volume. This is not correct.
Example: Put it on the table.
The first syllable of" table" has a long vowel and a raised pitch.
Example: Have some coffee.
The first syllable of coffee has a longer vowel and a raised pitch.
How to Determine which Syllable of a Word is Stresed:
The rules are useful but not the only way to learn syllable stress. Remembering stress through your memory, through the rhythm of the word is great and a lot closer to the way native speakers learn stress. At the same time, knowing the rules is useful for correcting past mistakes and for learning new words which you encounter.
Rule 1: Two syllable nouns and adjectives are usually stressed on the first syllable:
longer vowel and higher pitch on the first syllable
Exercise : Listen and Repeat the following 2 syllable nouns:
pilot... silence... teacher ... student ...sugar ...
Exercise : Listen and repeat the following 2 syllable adjectives:
scary ... silent ... funny ... pleasant ...
Rule 2: :Two syllable verbs may be stressed on the first or the second syllable. If the verb begins with a latin prefix, don't stress the prefix, stress the root (main part).
Examples of prefixes: pre-, com-,
Exercise: Here are some of the main prefixes which occur in English. Listen and repeat the following verbs which contain prefixes.
ad - admit ... admire ...
be- become ... betray ..
com- complain ... commit ...
con- convince ... contain ...
de- depend .... deny ...
mis- mistreat ...misplace ...
pre- pretend ...prepare ...
re- repeat ...relieve ...
sub- subtract... .submit
sup- support ... suppose ...
Exercise: Listen and repeat the following verbs which do not contain latin prefixes and are stressed on the first syllable:
finish ... frighten ... mention ...listen ... offer ... purchase ... soften ...
Rules are helpful as references points. But in the end, the best way to learn syllable stress is through memorization, feeling and thinking of language like music and rhythm.
Looking for more practice? Try Best Accent Training mp3s!
Any questions, comments or suggestions ? Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and see you next time!
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