English: A Stress-Timed Language – American Pronunciation


100 thoughts on “English: A Stress-Timed Language – American Pronunciation

  1. Your videos are really helpful.
    I need to know how to pronounce length, and also how to pronounce plural words that end in "s"

  2. I am going to work…how can be changed the pronucnciation of to in this case,,maybe many popular pronunciations..I am gonna work,,,I amg going do  work..I am going te work..I am goin flap t + o  work

  3. Hello, Rachel, I must say that you're amazing! I'm an English teacher, and I've been studying through your videos to get my pronunciation even better, and teach my students as well. Thank you so much for helping us all =D

  4. You are sooooooooooooooooooooooooo Amazing. I am from the middle East and I am very enchanted with the American accent. I found your videos very useful and I appreciate your strenuous effort.

  5. it's amazing . Now I can understand those unstressed words when i am hearing them . Thanks for your Video very much!

  6. Hi Rachel. You are so very fantastic! I wondering if there were some books about all the stuff/videos that you have done. So I can buy them. Do let me know. Thanks a lot.

  7. This video might be the explanation on why people can't understand me when I talk Portuguese. They I say I speak way too fast, but maybe I am speaking as if it was a Stress-Timed language. NOTE: I'm a native Portuguese speaker. That's really weird xD.

  8. Turns out I hardly ever reduce. I'm a native English speaker btw. I do completely understand the video and most people definitely do this, I hardly ever do for some reason.

  9. I have been studying (very informally) languages for nearly forty years; yet this is the first time I have heard of this concept. Fortunately, I am a native speaker of American English. If I had to learn it, I'd go mad. I learned Italian about forty years ago (lived in Italy for two years) and that's a cakewalk in comparison to American English.

  10. Thank you very much Rachel !! Because of your videos my english is beginning to sound more natural and people even think I'm a native speaker 🙂

  11. Should we contrast or make words shorter during the interview? especially when the interviewer is native speaker.

  12. My interest was triggered by an interview about the new Macbeth film. A person in it mentioned “French is syllable-timed language while English is stress-timed language” while singing high praise for Marion Cotillard, the French actrice playing the lady Macbeth.
    “Contrast between stressed and unstressed syllables” and “DON'T pronounce every word fully and clearly”. Seems those are the points for being stress-timed languages? But then in French people speak that way too and with Cantonese probably even more so (French and Cantonese, according to some sources are so-called syllable-timed).
    I am from HK and happen to speak French too. There are loads of examples like Rachel’s “I am going to the store”. A French might say “ch ve o magasin” (je vais au magasin). Another typical one: c’ pas vrai (c’est pas vrai) with all the stress on “rai”, dropping the first syllable totally. I guess this is the same with any language.
    Apologies, maybe fundamentally I didn’t get the linguistic points, particularly the ones for the “syllable-timed” languages. After all this falls in the expertise of phonetics. Average people like us, we just need to pay attention to how native speakers talk and get used to it. Then you learn and speak just like them.

  13. I was in Egypt listening to your videos and some friends were in U.S.A living there and deal with native people every day…
    Surprisingly , my accent is better than most of them.
    Thanks million Rachel

  14. What you're describing is nothing more than disgustingly sloppy diction and it most certainly should not be encouraged!

  15. wow, thanks! I've been speaking English for over 60 years and had no idea! This should make it easier to explain "schwas" for example to my ESL students.

  16. For me, a Brazilian trying to learn English, this is very hard to use because we don't have a habit and me, particularly, I often don't have contact with native English speakers. But, when I reading things of English, I try to do this. Of course, I try to listening English a lot to get this habit.

    Please, have you a more tip to help us to get this habit to say in that way? Thanks so much! And congrats on this video!

  17. The stressed-time concept are so import, but I think it is import to example to the others unstressed word: for, and, them, at, to, can, are, was, that and your.

  18. Great vid. The best of the best. If you don't mind I'd like to suggest something. You could write a small book or record a DVD, giving several examples of reduction and linking word together and sell them, of course. I'd be the first one to buy them.

  19. Thank you Rachel.  I'm glad I found your channel.  I've been trying to explain to a friend of mine that asking a native Spanish speaker, who doesn't know English very well to slow down in English so she can understand her, may be difficult for her, due to the language structure in Spanish as opposed to English.  As a student of French, I understand the difference.  Your video gives me some important examples to use when I explain to her the different between a stressed- timed language and a syllable-timed language.

  20. mmm…interesting, I'd never heard of this before. By the way, why do we have to "uh" sound "schwa"; it's a daft choice of a word, seeing as how its first meaning describes a different sound. Anyhow, rant over, ta muchly for the vid.

  21. Caros compatriotas brasileiros,elogiem a Rachel também! Adoro o Gavin também,mas a Rachel começou o trabalho muito antes dele.Que falta de educação.

  22. this is a nice video Rachel!!keep going with ur work n bless us with another absolutely great videos..👍👼

  23. Rachel, this subject is very interesting for us, brazilians. I came here to see you 'cause Gavin Roy indicated you and I liked very much!

  24. Thought-provoking and enjoyable presentation for an amateur lover of languages and linguistics! My question is how do American regional dialects impact stress-timing? Are there English variants that show less stress-timing, e.g, British, Indian, or Canadian English, or is this a general characteristic of English overall?

  25. We are English students we create a group on Facebook we used your vedios to study English so we would say thanks for your hard work for us

  26. Rachel, here is a list of words:
    What I noticed is that the i in ible reads in some words as 1. stronger i ble, in some as 2. weaker i ble, or 3. shorter schwa ble and 4. longer schwa ble.

    1. illegible; incredible; suggestible;feasible; contemptible; susceptible; convertible; flexible; ostensible; tangible;
    2. eligible; invincible; negligible;
    3. responsible; reversible;
    4. gullible; terrible; horrible; plausible.

    I selected more conservative forms (stronger i being the most conservative one, longer schwa being the least conservative) because I suppose it is about the weak vowel merger.

    Still, what do you advise us ESL learners? I guess a unique pronunciation for -ible (and -able) is preferable.

  27. Wow. Thank you. Thank you, Rachel. I'm working hard and studying English at school and your videos, BRZ. Santos City. Thanks.

  28. Why was this in my recommended? Anyhow, it's true that we reduce words but dont try to reduce words purposely. What I mean is, say the full word and wait until your brain automatically does it. Tbh, i didnt even know I said t as a d sometimes. Just let your brain talk for you.

  29. I'm Colombian but I had and exchange in Canada for 5 monts and I actually speak like that even though I hadn't ever realized that 😂😂 Thann you, Rachel!

  30. I didn't see that coming.The length it's more important then the sound itself. Thank you Rachel, now I realize another important goal in English learning.

  31. You pronounce "word" with R, 1:55 sound to me "part of a hole". I wanna die !!!!!!!!! God, why did you created English?!?! Just teasing and for the record, your videos are amazing!!! The first time in my endless painstaking study i feel i'll, once and for all, unbridle my english.

  32. As a Cantonese, I'm always confused how much shall I weaken the sound of the unstressed word. After the weakening of the unstressed sound, I'm afraid my pronunciation is not correct and my Chinese friend don't understand what I'm saying.

  33. I'm here to get a simple explanation on what "stress-timed" means for my conlanging, but I learned a lot about English, my native language, too!

  34. Just a question, is it an impression or you do glottal stop on the "t" of "sentence"? Thanks for that video that was far clearer than my teacher's course.

  35. Thanks for this, Rachel. Do you have a video where you discuss the effects of stress-timing within a word in English?

  36. Rachel you're the champ.And ur methods are charming.However something is bothering me:I hear Americans speak fast a complex sentence of 3thought groups in which they do 2tricks that I dont understand:
    1st they stress the pronoun, which suppose to be untressed.
    2nd they end up high in speech as if they are asking questions.

  37. Thanks. I have learned almost all the weak forms from dictionaries, but it is always nice to hear them in an educational video.
    Heck, I didn't know weak forms existed until I saw them in dictionaries 😛

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