Word Stress: Sentence Position — American English Pronunciation


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  1. @Charles55661 I agree with imgordonfreeman — it's sort of a teenager thing to make many statements question like. It is normal though to choose to make short statements go up in pitch when they are followed by other short, related statements, like the examples you listed.

  2. Thanks! Nice video, but I am a bit confused since what you are teaching in this video seems to contradict what I have learned from some other pronunciation books/websites. For example, this podcast englishpronunciationpod(.)com/podcast_57.html says that the last content word of a phrase is usually the focus word, and therefore receives the most stress in the phrase. Could you please clarify this for me?

  3. @maximinx I would say in reference to the podcast, that you can think of that 'focus' word as being the one you move towards and away from. But if you look at sentences in a software program like Pratt, you will find that even so the pitch will tend to be higher at the beginning of the sentence.

  4. HI,i am a hongkonger.and most of us are like to put the stress on the last word in each sentence(even my English teacher).I found so many English learning video on Youtube.but yours are the best.cheers!

  5. Can you please help me understand where the word stress is in the following sentences:

    If I were you,I'd go to Japan.

    Sue had her hair cut.

    He'd left by the time we arrived.

    got away with.

    Thanks.I've tried and tried and tried,but I still can't understand which words are stressed and which words are unstressed.

  6. Stressed words are the content words: nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives. But with that in mind, different people will stress differently. There's no one right way to stress.

  7. You can skip the T between two other consonants. So it's ok to skip in a phrase like 'just dance' or a word like 'exactly'.
    Best, Rachel

  8. but what if the last word is the most important in the sentence? like you want to stress it's home to where you drove the car yesterday.

  9. Dear Rachel. You are a very talented teacher. I've learned a lot from you but I am a bit confused. I've been taught so far that the last content word in a thought group is a Focus word which is gets most stressed and higher in pitch. You said that in My name is Rachel. Rachel is more important than name, so it's more stressed. But in "I"ll be home by three" I'll is higher than three. So In a sentence Last night I drove my car home. Last night much be higher than car not to mention home? I am very confused. I was taught that In a sentence "I don't know what you are talking about" there are 3 types of sounds: unstressed I, your are, what, about which are shortest, stressed content words don't, know, and Focus word TALKING-last content word which gets most stress and pitch. In a sentence with 3 thought groups like "I see the same WORLD as you/ but I am able to see PAST/ all that is saddening and HORRIFYING. final content words in thought groups get more stress and pitch. I am very confused. Musically gifted people like you can easily pick up tunes and memorize them. They don't really need system. But musically challenged people like me need all the help they can get. It would be very helpful if you could clear up this confusion for me.
    Thank you.

  10. Hi, Rachel. I'm learning your great video. What's the download link of the pitch viewer software program? Thank you.

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