Study word stress and three-syllable words that have stress on the last syllable: volunteer, guarantee. How many words can you come up with? Add to the list in the comments below.
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In this American English pronunciation video, you’re going to get even better at speaking with rhythmic contrast. We’re going to practice three-syllable words with first syllable stress.
First, if you are just going to watch this video, don’t. That would be very boring. This video only works if you’re willing to practice your English out loud. So, if you’re somewhere where you can’t do that, make sure to come back to this video later.
When learning English as a second language, most people don’t make unstressed syllables as fast, low in pitch, or quiet, as they should. The tendency is to over-pronounce them, but that’s not good English.
In English, we have clearer, stressed syllables: DA, and less clear unstressed syllables: da. So for these syllables, don’t be afraid to be less clear.
In this video, we’re just going to do 3-syllable words, with third syllable stress, like this: da-da-DA. da-da-DA.
That’s all you’re going to hear. You’re going to get into a groove with the rhythm. After each repetition of the word, repeat it just like you hear it. Don’t over-pronounce unstressed syllables. This is going to move quickly. See if you can keep up.
Everyday. da-da-DA. Everyday.
Fifty-one. da-da-DA. Fifty-one.
Cigarette. da-da-DA. Cigarette.
Volunteer. da-da-DA. Volunteer.
Guarantee. da-da-DA. Guarantee.
Japanese. da-da-DA. Japanese.
Disagree. da-da-DA. Disagree.
Engineer. da-da-DA. Engineer.
Kitchenette. da-da-DA. Kitchenette.
Pioneer. da-da-DA. Pioneer.
Matinee. da-da-DA. Matinee.
Picturesque. da-da-DA. Picturesque.
Recommend. da-da-DA. Recommend.
Afternoon. da-da-DA. Afternoon.
Understand. da-da-DA. Understand.
Now, we’re going to go back to the beginning and just do the words one time each. Repeat each word and don’t worry too much about the sounds. This is a drill exercise in rhythm.
Now we’re going to go back to the beginning and just do the words one time each with a short sentence. Repeat the word and the sentence keeping the right rhythm when it’s in a sentence.
Everyday – I jog almost everyday.
Fifty-one – I just turned fifty-one.
Cigarette – Cigarettes are expensive.
Volunteer – I’d like to volunteer there.
Guarantee – I guarantee it.
Japanese – I love Japanese food.
Disagree – I disagree.
Engineer – The engineer will check.
Kitchenette – It only has a kitchenette.
Pioneer – She’s a pioneer in her field.
Matinee – We’ll see the matinee.
Picturesque – It’s very picturesque.
Recommend – I highly recommend it.
Afternoon – I’ll come by this afternoon.
Understand – I understand completely.
What other three-syllable words with third syllable stress can you think of? Put them in the comments below to give everyone more words to practice with.
Stress is something I stress in my book American English Pronunciation. If you want an organized, step-by-step resource to build your American accent, click here to buy the book. I think you’re going to love it.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.