Syllable Stress: The Melody of American English


How can I know when I’m supposed to stress a word in a sentence, and how can this help me sound more like a native English speaker?

In traditional classroom setting, we focus on grammar rules and expanding our vocabularies. But in terms of speaking, how do you know how to speak? How to put words together in a sentence? How you use the correct amount of stress on each syllable?


There are some rules that we need to follow, but there are times that we can break the rules — and that’s what so great about English!  You learn the base first, and then you can be creative.


The base is that we stress words that have information that’s important, the key words.


The rule in general, verbs and content words are stressed but prepositions and articles are not. But you can be creative and that’s fun in speaking English because you create your own meaning by stressing that you want to stress.


Practice speaking using those the rules that were mentioned but if you want to put special stress, it’s up to you. But in general, stick the stress to key content words, not articles or prepositions.


Click here to watch the video on YouTube


Photo Credit: Natalie Roberts


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