How to sound like a native speaker – Word Stress
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How to sound like a native speaker – Word Stress

December 3, 2019


“Hi. I’m Jade. What we’re talking about today
is word stress in English. What’s word stress? Well, it’s part of the rhythm of English,
and it’s what can help your English sound much more natural. So we’ll be looking at that.
But more specifically, we’ll be learning some rules for word stress because you might
understand it in principle, “Yeah some parts of the word are stressed, and some bits aren’t.”
But how do you actually apply that? And that’s what you’re going to learn today. So
we’ll start by looking at an interesting sentence, “We must POLISH the POLISH furniture.”
“Polish” is an action, verb, for cleaning So something, making it shiny; and “Polish”
is an adjective for furniture from Poland. So although they’re the same spelling, they have
different sounds, and that’s because of word stress. And we’ll look at those words. So
just make a note of it. That’s the verb, and that’s the adjective. And we’re going to — we’re
now going to look at where to put the stress. So the general rule for two-syllable words
is: the noun or adjective, the stress is on the first syllable. The noun or adjective, the
stress is on the first syllable. And that’s how you show word stress. The stress is the
circle, and the unstress is a line. It’s above the — it’s probably not something you can see right now.
I’ve just realized. So I’ll do it like that. You can see now. What about
this one, the verb? The verb is the second syllable. So unstress; stress
for the second syllable. Let’s have a look at some sentences with the
word stress rules. So in these sentences, I’ve got examples where we’ve got a noun in a
sentence and a verb with a similar meaning in a different sentence. So you will hear a
little bit of a different pronunciation. Perhaps quite a subtle difference in pronunciation,
but the stress is in a different place. So I’m going to show you that. So in
this sentence, “decrease” is in the noun form. So looking at our rule, where is
the stress here? On the first syllable. We show the stress by the circle and the unstress by the line.
And what about this one? “Decreased” is in the verb position, so we swap; we stress
the second syllable. Now, I’ll read them to you. “There has been a DEcrease in wages.
Wages deCREASED last year.” Let’s take a look at the second one. “Present”
here, is a noun because we’ve got “a” there, “a lovely present”. So, again, we put the stress here.
And here is the verb. So we do that pattern again. Now, I’ll read them to you.
“Tom bought me a lovely PREsent.” Second example, “We now preSENT the star of the show.”
Let’s take a look at this third example here. “Permit” — “permit” in this sense, “You need a
PERmit to park here” is saying — in England, you need a little piece of paper from the
government to say that you can park in some places. So it means you are allowed to park there.
And it’s similar to the verb, which means “to allow”. So “PERmit” here is a noun.
Because it’s a noun, we’re going to stress the first syllable. And here, “perMIT” is
in the verb form, so we’re going to change it. We’re going to do it like that. And I’ll
read those to you now. “You need a PERmit to park here.” Compare that to, “The school
doesn’t perMIT students to wear trainers.” So it’s not “per” anymore; it’s “pe”, “pe-MIT”.
When we come back, we’re going to look at some other general rules and important
things to know about word stress. Are you ready for more word stress rules? Well,
first of all, we’ve got some exceptions. In the case of exceptions, the pronunciation
is the same for the verb, the adjective, and the noun if they have one. Let’s have a look.
“He PHOTOgraphed the whole family.” “She looks pretty in the PHOTOgraph.”
It’s the same, okay? The stress is in the same position, at the beginning of the word.
Should do a circle. Next example, “I PRACtise singing every day.”
“The dentist surgery is a private PRACtice.” Again, the stress is in the same place, in the
beginning in both instances. Here, “practice” is a noun; here it’s the verb. And our
next example, “Sarah TRAvels business class.” And, “Where did you go for your TRAvels?”
The stress is in the same place: TRAvels, TRAvels, TRAvels — In the
beginning of the word. And let’s look now at when the noun and the
verb have different meanings. In these other examples, they have related meanings. In these
examples, although they’re the same word, they have different pronunciations and different
meanings, so let’s look at that. And the pronunciation difference is quite obvious in these examples.
So “reFUSE” as a verb means “to say ‘no'” about something. But “REFuse” is a formal
British word for “garbage”, or “rubbish” — we say informally in English. So here’s a sentence,
“Residents refUSED plans for new REFuse bins.” There’s the verb; there’s the noun. “Residents
refUSED plans for new REFuse bins.” Next example, “obJECT” to something means
“to disagree” about something. It’s quite a formal word. And another meaning for “OBject” is “thing”.
Let’s look at it in a sentence. “I obJECT to that disgusting OBject. I obJECT
to that disgusting OBject.” Our stress here for the verb; and our stress
at the beginning for the noun. And let’s look at “reCORD”, which is a verb
— “to capture on film”. Like now, I’m being “reCORDed”. And it has two other meanings. It
can be a file, an official file somewhere; you can have a “record” somewhere. Or it can
be a different old-fashioned format of music, a round record. So here’s a sentence. “We
have a RECord of all the RECords reCORDED by them.” This one’s a noun; this one’s a
noun; and that’s the verb. So the stress is in different places. I’ll say that one again.
“We have a RECord all of the RECords reCORDED by them.” So that’s what I’m
going to tell you about word stress today. If you do like this lesson,
please give it a thumbs up. I’d really appreciate it if you subscribed to my channel, too. I
do more lessons about learning English, not only on my EngVid channel, but on my personal channel.
You can also go into the EngVid website to do the quiz on this, get a little bit more
practice with your word stress — words you stress; words you unstress. And that’s all
I’m going to talk about for now — I’m going to talk about for now. So yeah.
Come and see me again soon. Bye.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. We must poLISH the POlish furniture? No. Both words are stressed equally on the first syllable. Just a different vowel sound. Doesn't mean that the rule doesn't often apply.

  2. Very stupid video as the teacher doesn't know her own native language. The stress in verb polish and adjective Polish is in the same place, but in verb we have monophthong /o/ and in Polish it is a diphthong /ou/. And there are more exceptions from 'her rule' than pairs of verb-noun which follow this rule.

  3. If you were my English teacher, I would've get much better than now.
    There are no actual English teacher in Japan.

  4. Such a sympathetic presentation and sweet pronunciation … but … there are inaccuracies or even mistakes in really every video of this series.
    The two "polishes" ^^, this has already been said, do not differ by stress. Speaking of "decrease", both variants are pronounced identically in this video, so no difference in stress either. Btw: I just checked on LEO, and they say décrease (BE) even for the verb, which was new to me.

  5. This is all fantasy…"polish" and "Polish" is pronounced the same way.  Absolutely.  Who are you trying to fool nasty bitch?

  6. In spanish and other developed languages we have accents marks(áàâä) in written language so we can easily know where to stress the words. 😏

  7. Hello Jade Greetings from Texas USA…we hope to visit England one day soon…your hair like that and color is great in you don't wear your hair much longer ..you have fine texture and the longer hair gets the thinner it ooks..plus light hair color washes you out ….you look like a woman we know in Arkansas …we recommend you going to Richard Ward hair salon in London England…we heard it is a great place and the Duchess Kate still has her hair cut there…your hair cut would look good with a fringe we call it bangs God bless you and yours

  8. If I would have have such kind of pretty and humorous teacher with cute accent I will learn all English Grammar and everything from A to Z and I will be keep learning through out my entire life 💓

  9. My headache getting worse soon i have to see my doctor (not native speaker btw)

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