Pronunciation: Word Stress


Hey everyone. In this video we’re going
to do some more pronunciation. We’re going to focus on word stress. In order
to talk about word stress, we need to review syllables first. So remember that
words in English are made up of syllables. A syllable is a little unit
that always contains a vowel sound. So for example, my name Larissa has three
vowel sounds and three syllables: La-ris-sa and Misha has two: Mi-sha.
Word stress talks about the syllable which is emphasized more strongly or more loudly.
So in my name, it’s the second syllable that is stressed. My name is LarRIssa, not LArissa (who’s that?) or LarisSA. Those are both… They sound strange to me. They’re not my name.
My name is LaRIssa. The same with Misha: MIsha, not MiSHA. Hey, MiSHA! (laughint) It sounds strange to us because words in English have syllables and each word has
one syllable that is the strongest. So the stressed syllable in a word is
louder, it’s longer and it’s at a higher pitch than the other sounds. Higher pitch
means like this instead of like this. So this is how you can tell that this one
is the stressed syllable and how you can make sure that you’re making a stressed
syllable – make it louder, longer, and higher pitched. The reason you want to do
this is because it really affects the understanding of an English speaker. If
your rhythm is off or the stress of your words is in the wrong place or there is
no stress, it’s much harder for an English speaker to understand. So even if
you make all the right sounds, all the right letter sounds, if you don’t have
the right rhythm it’s going to affect the way you’re understood. This is
really important. It is a really important part of pronunciation.
So how do you know which syllable is the stressed one – which when to say louder,
higher, and longer? Well, you could look in a dictionary. Your dictionary will note
which one it is, but the way it tells you that might be
different from dictionary to dictionary. Sometimes they put a little apostrophe at the
beginning of the stressed syllable. Sometimes they put it at the end, and sometimes they have a different way
altogether of noting that. So just learn how your dictionary shows the stressed
syllable and then pay attention to that when you’re learning a new word.
For our purposes today we’re going to use circles because we think they’re
more clear when it comes to showing the stress. So for a stressed
syllable we’re going to have a big circle, and for an unstressed syllable
we’ll use a small circle. We’re going to look at some rules today
that can help you determine what stress pattern to follow in a word. There are
always exceptions so these are rules that apply in most cases – not all cases.
The first one is if you have a two-syllable noun or adjective, the stress is
on the first syllable of the word. For example, if you have a word like apple, which is a two-syllable noun, it’s AP-ple, not ap-PLE. AP-ple.
Every time we say the wrong one, it makes us laugh a little because it
sounds so strange. It sounds so strange. Another example of a noun is teacher. TEA-cher. Two-syllable adjectives: an example could be YEL-low, YEL-low, or CRA-zy. Extra long there: CRAAAA-zy. That’s right. If you want to emphasize a
word, you just make that strong syllable even stronger. The opposite of that would be cra-ZY, cra-ZY sounds very strange. It sounds CRA-zy. It sounds CRA-zy. Cra-ZY is CRA-zy. The next rule or guideline is when
you have a two-syllable verb or preposition, usually the second syllable is emphasized..is the stressed one. For example, cre-ATE, cre-ATE or ex-PLAIN, ex-PLAIN. For prepositions, be-HIND, not BE-hind, be-HIND
and in-SIDE, in-SIDE. The next rule is if you have compound nouns. A compound noun
is a word that is made up of two smaller words, two smaller nouns. And in this case
there are a little more evenly balanced than some nouns but there is still a
slight emphasis on the first syllable. For example TOOTH-paste, TOOTH-paste or
FOOT-ball, everybody’s favorite, FOOT-ball. Alright, this rule is a little bit complicated.
If you have a three-syllable word that ends in either ‘ER’, ‘LY’ or a consonant,
usually the first syllable is stressed. For example, MAN-a-ger or QUI-et-ly, and BEAU-ti-ful beau-TI-ful – no! It’s fun to do it the wrong way sometimes. BEAU-ti-ful. Sometimes to help you decide the pattern of stress in the word, you can look at the suffix, which is
the ending of the word like the example that Larissa just gave.
And also in words that end in ‘CY’, ‘TY’, ‘PHY’, or ‘GY’. In these words the stress is on the syllable that is third from the end. So if you start at the end of the word and count backwards, it will be the third syllable. For example, hy-PO-cri-sy or CHA-ri-ty
or ge-O-gra-phy and ge-O-logy. Another pattern is three
syllable words that end in ‘EE’ or ‘EER’. In this case the emphasis is on the last
or third syllable. For example, em-ploy-EE, ref-er-EE, vol-un-TEER, en-gi-NEER. The last rule that we have today is when you have a word that ends in /shun/ So ‘SION’ or ‘TION’, or the suffix ‘IC’, then the syllable that comes directly before this suffix is the stressed one For example, con-FU-sion, trans-por-TA-tion, GRA-phic. So remember that these are rules, but there are many words that don’t fit into any of these categories. So if you encounter a word that doesn’t
end in ‘ION’ for example, or it doesn’t fit any of these, just listen to somebody
pronounce it – a native speaker, listen for the stress, or look it up in your dictionary. Okay we are going to play a game. This game is called snap, so syllable snap.
What will happen is Larissa and I will both hold up a word, so
each of us will hold up one word, and if the word has the same pattern of stress
–so maybe big, small, small; or small, big, small, if this pattern is matching,
then whoever shakes this thing first gets to keep all the cards. Okay? If it’s not matching, then we put them down take another And if it’s not matching and we shake? I don’t know…lose all our cards? Lose a point. It won’t happen. I don’t know, it might. You can watch and see. Okay ready? Yes, I’m ready. No. OP-er-ate / con-DI-tion [laughing] Just at the same moment! She’s so quick! am-BI-tious / dra-MA-tic. Same. Oh. She’s so much quicker.
mu-SE-eum / spe-CI-fic CHE-mi-cal / TOL-er-ant vol-un-TEER / en-gi-NEER le-mon-ADE / PHO-to-graph ref-er-EE / de-LI-icious guar-an-TEE / CHAR-ac-ter nope em-ploy-EE / CA-na-da am-BI-tious / con-DI–tion TOL-er-ant / mu-SE-um CA-na-da (I almost shook it!)
CA-na-da / spe-CI-fic OP-er-ate / CHAR-ac-ter Ok, so to practice we’re gonna show you
these words that we played our game with and you decide which column each word
goes into. So to summarize, one very important
aspect of English pronunciation is word stress. Remember that each word has one
syllable which is pronounced more loudly, more clearly, more strongly, at a higher
pitch. So when you’re learning a new word remember to pay attention to the
syllable stress or the syllable which is stressed so you can learn that along
with the meaning and then practice speaking by emphasizing the syllable
that is stressed. Alright, thanks for watching this video by
ex-TRA En-GLISh prac-TICe. Woah, woah, woah, woah.
EX-tra ENG-lish PRAC-tice! Yeah, that sounds better. You can sub-SCRIBE for more. blink, blink, blink. BLINK-y. BLINK-y. Does it change the lighting? Hey, hey!

15 thoughts on “Pronunciation: Word Stress

  1. Would u please provide us with lesson about possessive adjectives/pronouns and the difference between the two thks in advance

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