Introduction to Stress and Intonation – English with Jennifer


Can you sing? I like to sing very much, but I don’t have a great singing voice. I’m better at playing the piano. I understand music pretty well, and of course I understand the English language quite well, so I feel confident that I can guide you to have better intonation and rhythm in English. In some ways, speaking a language is like singing a song. There are words. There’s a melody. And there’s a rhythm. Every language has its own music. I bet that even if you don’t speak other languages, you can probably recognize them based on what you hear, right? If you want to sound more natural in English, then you have to listen carefully to the musical quality of the English language. English is a stress-timed language. What does that mean? First, let’s talk about words. English words of two or more syllables have stressed and unstressed sounds. A stressed sound is generally louder, longer, and at a higher pitch. For example, English. Listen. DA-da communication Next, let’s talk about sentences. English sentences have stressed and unstressed words. We stress content words. Like nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs… Words that carry meaning. Function words, like articles and prepositions, are normally unstressed. We say the more softly and generally faster. Our content words fall on the beat. Function words are off beat. If you’d like to learn more about how unstressed words and unstressed sounds change in fast speech, watch my 20-day Fast Speech Challenge. In this 10-day challenge, we’ll focus mainly on intonation. These changes in pitch happen on stressed words. So you’ll learn how stress and intonation work together. Intonation is a key part of our communication in English. Are you ready for your first full lesson on intonation? We’ll start soon, but let’s not rush. Remember – after each lesson you need to take time to practice on your own. Repeat the model sentences aloud. If possible, record yourself and compare your speech to mine. You can do this kind of listen-repeat practice with other speakers as well. For example, a short film clip or part of an audio interview can provide a good model. As always, thanks for watching and happy studies!

100 thoughts on “Introduction to Stress and Intonation – English with Jennifer

  1. +NachO San Hi. There are some differences in intonation. I'm not the best person to ask. You might visit my colleague Vicki from Simple English Videos and ask that question. She's from the U.K., but she lives here in the U.S.

  2. Your videos are very helpful, I've been practicing a lot. I found them easier to understand, Thank You, You're amazing teacher!

  3. thanks you teacher.. you solve my many problems.. can I study with you.. if you are in any school or any tuition I want to study I'm in class 10th please tell

  4. I can see that you made it to start back on the piano 🙂 Congratulations :)… Yes, know me as Daniel… But I had to come in this channel because I was harassed in the other, and had to delete everything… BTW, here's my latest improvisation: https://youtu.be/b8IoT13kYgA May be you'll like it… BTW, as usual, your English lessons are great… 🙂 I shared your link in my FB 🙂

  5. Thank you Jennifer . i deeply appreciate what you do for us . Imagine ! I live in the desert of the empty quarter " North of Yemen" and due to your effective methodology and lessons i make progress everyday despite the fact that i have never been abroad or communicated with a native speaker . It is a self-study effort + your lessons . Thank you once again .

  6. Hello,I have noticed that some people don´t pronunce the letter t in words such us internet or center (inernet or cener).When you talk in this way it could be and informal way to talk?
    thanks for your help.

  7. Jennifer, you're amazing, love your videos! They would be so much better if the audio quality was a little better though! I guess you need a better microphone, or to process the videos in a different platform… idk what happens, all of your videos seem to have this problem but besides that, your work is admirable!

  8. The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing . why do we use to get started instead of to start ?

  9. Jennifer, here is a list of words:
    What I noticed is that the i in ible reads in some words as 1. strong i ble, in some as 2. small i ble, or 3. short schwa ble and 4. long 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 (stroger i being the most conservative one, longer schwa being the lest 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.

  10. Mam please make a video lecture on Tense and time
    And why there are technically two tenses in English language. And why modal sentense have no tense.
    Please make a video

  11. MAM
    One of my teacher say that MOOD depends on modal verb. But sometimes there is no modal verb in indicative mood,interrogative mood,subjunctive mood.
    I am confused . Is always mood depends on modal verb?
    THANK YOU MAM

  12. thanks kennifer but i tell you truth i dont think i day i caqnspeak english because must practice aqnd my contry use frensh thanks

  13. Thank you, Jennifer! Your Youtube videos are absolutely fantastic! I'm an ESL teacher and I always recommend them to my students. They love them and find them so clear and easy to understand.

  14. Really useful! Greatly improve my presentation, to be more easy to listen, to be more fluent!!
    Thank you Jennifer!

  15. Another wonderful video! Thank you so much, Jennifer – my students and I love your videos. They're so helpful and your speech is always so well articulated and easy to understand.

  16. I don't get tired of watching your video lessons Jennifer. I watch them over and over again… keep it up…. 😘😘😘.

  17. Thanks a lot for this video. Stessed syllable is often described as louder ,clearer,higher in pitch and longer but I feel there's something wrong with that.for instance : Is he a teacher? The first syllable of teacher is clearer,louder and higher in pitch than the second syllable (er).but at the same time the sentence has a rising intonation because it is a yes or no question .that's to say,our voice goes up before the ( er) syllable of teacher. My question is how come the first syllable of teacher is louder and higher in pitch than the second syllable and at the same time the intonation goes up after the first syllable ( not before ) ? Or in other words the( teach) is louder and and higher in pitch than the (er) because it is a stressed syllable and at the same time the ( er) is higher in pitch than ( teach) because the intonation if rising….I hope you get my question.

  18. Thanks sister Jennifer,, when I got time to lean english , it's usualy for me to find your video ,either Facebook , Youtube all tweter ,, I don't know how to speak english wall ,but everyday I got something to you ,,
    God bleas you and your family🙏🙏🙏

  19. finally. i found such an excellent, systematic, and detailed teaching lesson on intonation. thank you! Jennifer

  20. Could you recommend any software programm for comparison two audio tracks in terms of pronunciation, thythm, stress and etc. and display it on the screen?
    The first track is the pattern, a word or a phrase spoken by a person. The second is a try to mimic the first track by me.

  21. Thank you, Jennifer, although each lesson is pretty short, every word is useful. Your lessons are a treasure to the English Learner, I really hope the more people will come to your lesson.

  22. Your sweet voice, your rhythmic words and sentences make me reaaaaally relax. I can lay down all night just listening to your video❤❤❤

  23. "Every language has its own music!" Agree! I didn't know that "English is stress-timed language, stressed sounds take a bit longer to say, and all the unstressed sounds are shorter and they happen off beat. "So these longer and shorter sounds create a rhythm" What a great lesson! Thank you!

  24. I like both English and music, and I always thought language can be taught through music .I was so excited when I found your channel!

  25. I liked your videos on stress and intonation patterns. How can I get the playlist of the same? Becoz I don't get in between videos. Please advice.

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