What is Word Stress?
English, we do not say each syllable with the same force or strength.
In one word, we accentuate ONE syllable. We say one syllable very loudly
(big, strong, important) and all the other syllables very quietly.
take 3 words: photograph, photographer and photographic. Do they sound
the same when spoken? No. Because we accentuate (stress) ONE syllable in
each word. And it is not always the same syllable. So the shape of each
word is different.
click word to hear shape total
PHO TO GRAPH 3 #1
PHO TO GRAPH ER 4 #2
PHO TO GRAPH IC 4 #3
happens in ALL words with 2 or more syllables: TEACHer, JaPAN, CHINa,
aBOVE, converSAtion, INteresting, imPORtant, deMAND, etCETera, etCETera,
The syllables that are not stressed are ‘weak’ or
‘small’ or ‘quiet’. Native speakers of English listen for the STRESSED
syllables, not the weak syllables. If you use word stress in your
speech, you will instantly and automatically improve your pronunciation
and your comprehension.
Try to hear the stress in individual
words each time you listen to English - on the radio, or in films for
example. Your first step is to HEAR and recognise it. After that, you
can USE it!
There are two very important rules about word stress:
One word, one stress. (One word cannot have two stresses. So if you hear two stresses, you have heard two words, not one word.)
The stress is always on a vowel
صلى الله على محمد صلى الله عليه وسلمسبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم