Word Stress

Word Stress is very important.

You can try to learn about Word Stress. This is one of the best ways for you to understand spoken English—especially English spoken fast.

What is Word Stress?

Take 3 words: photograph, photographer, photographic, for example. Do they sound the same when spoken? No! They sound very different, because one syllable in each word is “stressed” (stronger than the others).

PHOtograph

phoTOgrapher

photoGRAPHic

This happens in all words with two or more syllables:

TEACHer, JaPAN, CHINa, aBOVE, converSAtion, INteresting, imPORtant, deMAND, 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.

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