Can you tell which syllable is stressed and which is unstressed? The more you pay attention to stress and use contrast in your own speech, the easier you’ll be to understand.
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I’ve done some videos introducing the concept of word stress. That is in English, some syllables are higher in pitch and longer, they are stressed, and other syllables are lower in pitch and much shorter. They are unstressed. Today I’m going to go through series of two syllable words. In each word, one of the syllables is stressed, and one of them is unstressed.I want you to guess which, the first or the second, is the stressed syllable. Then you’ll be given the answer.
About, about. About. The second syllable is stressed. Daughter, daughter. Daughter, it’s the first syllable that is stressed. Sleepy, sleepy. It’s the first syllable that is stressed. Unreal, unreal. Unreal, it’s the second syllable that is stressed. Question, question. Question. It’s the first syllable that is stressed. Relax, relax. Relax, it is the second syllable that is stressed. Rely, rely, rely. It is the second syllable that is stressed. Quiet, quiet. Quiet, it’s the first syllable that is stressed. Perfect, perfect. Perfect. It’s again the first syllable that is stressed. Allow, allow. Allow. The second syllable was stressed. Standard, standard. Standard. The first syllable is stressed. Delete, delete. Delete. It’s the second syllable that is stressed.
When you are able to correctly identify which syllables are stressed when you hear native speakers speak, hopefully you will then be able to mimic that and integrate it into you own speech. Word stress is very important for sounding like a native speaker, or at least for being able to be understood.