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Improve Your English Speaking Skills - Elevate your spoken English with our new lesson on pronunciation, word stress, and emphasis.
Are you an English language learner eager to sound more like a native speaker? Dive into this engaging lesson where you'll discover the secrets to mastering word stress and emphasis! Explore intriguing examples of words that change meaning based on their pronunciation. By the end of this lesson, you'll have a deeper understanding of the nuances in English pronunciation and be on your way to speaking more fluently. Don't miss this unique opportunity to enhance your skills and impress others with your newfound knowledge!
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Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
⭐ Maya Angelou, an American poet and civil rights activist.
🎓 Boost your English fluency and confidence with our helpful lesson! Listen now on Spotify, YouTube, and adeptenglish.com!
Our latest English lesson unlocks the subtle secrets of pronunciation that make all the difference! We delve into word stress and emphasis, demystifying those fascinating intricacies that can transform your speech and make you sound more like a native English speaker. Embrace the challenge and join us on this exciting linguistic adventure, where you'll uncover the hidden patterns that breathe life into your English conversations. Get ready to embark on a journey that will redefine the way you speak English!
Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.
⭐ Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., an American physician, poet, and polymath.
This lesson's real-world examples and insights into English word variations will help you become more sensitive to subtle linguistic cues and patterns, thereby enhancing your overall language skills. By delving into the passage provided, you will be exposed to a diverse range of vocabulary and sentence structures, further enriching your comprehension and communication abilities. As you progress, you will find that mastering these crucial elements contributes significantly to your overall fluency, empowering you to communicate more effectively in English.
How will this lesson help you?
- Intonation patterns in British English can vary across regional accents, which can influence the way questions, statements, and other sentence types are perceived by listeners. Learning these variations can help improve your spoken communication and fluency in British English.
- Listening to a variety of British English accents through podcasts, movies, or TV shows can help learners become more accustomed to different pronunciation patterns and word stress, ultimately improving their own spoken English. Exposing oneself to different accents enhances listening comprehension and adaptability in real-life conversations.
- The use of weak forms and contractions in British English affects pronunciation, word stress, and emphasis. Becoming familiar with these elements through listening practice can lead to a more natural and fluent speaking style in British English.
New English language learners often think learning to speak British English, particularly regarding pronunciation, word stress, and emphasis, is that it requires mimicking a specific accent or speaking with a posh, Received Pronunciation (RP) accent. In reality, British English has numerous regional accents and dialects. Focusing on improving pronunciation, word stress, and emphasis is more important than trying to adopt a specific accent. This approach will elevate your fluency and confidence in spoken communication, regardless of which British accent you encounter or choose to adopt.
So, improve your English pronunciation and elevate your fluency with this Adept English podcast lesson. Learn the secrets of sounding like a native speaker by understanding word stress and emphasis. Gain confidence in your spoken communication. Listen & learn with Adept English to perfect your accent and achieve English speaking fluency today!
A real treasure map of a British English lesson, that will guide you through the labyrinth of pronunciation, word stress, and emphasis, uncovering the hidden gems of fluency and confidence in spoken English.
- What is the main goal of this lesson on learning to speak British English fluently? The goal of this lesson is to help learners improve their pronunciation, word stress, and emphasis in British English, ultimately elevating their fluency and confidence in spoken communication.
- How does focusing on word stress and emphasis contribute to fluency in British English? By improving word stress and emphasis, learners can pronounce words more accurately, making their speech clearer and easier for native speakers to understand, which contributes to overall fluency.
- Can this lesson help with adapting to different regional accents in British English? This lesson provides general pronunciation principles that apply to various British accents. By practising these principles, learners can improve their overall fluency and adaptability to different accents.
- What resources or exercises can I use to practice and improve my pronunciation in British English? Consider using the Adept English Consonants Pronunciation Course, listening to podcasts, movies, and TV shows, and practise listening to English speakers with online tools like YouTube to hear and see native speakers pronouncing words.
- Will this lesson help me sound more like a native British English speaker? Yes, by working on your pronunciation, word stress, and emphasis, you'll develop a more natural and native-like speaking style in British English.
- Syllable: A part of a word that has one vowel sound; for example, "telephone" has three syllables: telephone.
- Emphasis: The extra force or stress given to a particular syllable or word when speaking.
- Mispronunciation: Saying a word incorrectly, usually with wrong emphasis or sounds.
- Stem: The main part of a word, to which prefixes and suffixes can be added.
- Uncountable noun: A type of noun that cannot be counted and does not have a plural form, like "water" or "music."
- Consonant: A speech sound made by blocking or restricting the flow of air through the mouth; all letters in the alphabet except for vowels (a, e, i, o, u).
- Pronunciation: The way a word is spoken or the sounds that are used when saying a word.
- Noun: A word that represents a person, place, thing, or idea; for example, "dog" or "city."
- Verb: A word that shows an action or state, like "run" or "be."
- Adjective: A word that describes or gives more information about a noun, such as "red" or "happy."
Hi there. Today in the podcast, let’s talk about ‘how to sound more like a native English speaker’! This is something subtle, which may not have grabbed your attention before. But if you want to ‘sound more English’ in your pronunciation, today’s topic is worth your attention. We usually go with the Listen&Learn natural way of learning English pronunciation. But English is a difficult language to learn and sometimes there are things that it’s worth giving you specific help on. If you’ve done our free course, the Seven Rules of Adept English, you’ll be familiar with the idea of Rule Six, the Helping Hand of Adept English. A little bit of ‘helping hand’ sometimes goes a long way. So today, let me give you ‘a helping hand’ with ‘word emphasis’ or ‘word stress’. You don’t know what I mean? Well listen on to find out. And you’ll be sounding more like a native English speaker by the end of this podcast…..!
Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.
Pronunciation is something perhaps that we don’t spend that much time on at Adept English, partly because of course, we encourage the Listen&Learn. That natural way of learning a language can’t be beaten. You pick up correct pronunciation through listening to lots of spoken English. But as I said, a little help can go a long way! And something in English which is helpful to learners - and this probably happens in all languages to some degree - there are often words, where there’s a noun form, an adjective form and a verb form, that are basically all the same word. They may have a slightly different ending or it may be the same word. So just to recap on grammar? Nouns, NOUNS - those remember, are ‘persons, places or things’. Adjectives, ADJECTIVES are ‘describing words’ - words that describe. And ‘verbs’, VERBS are ‘doing words’, actions. An example of a group of related words? What about the noun ‘wood’, WOOD? That can mean either ‘a wood’, which means an area of trees, or it could mean the substance ‘wood’ meaning what you might use to make a table or a chair. And then there are adjectives which are related, like ‘wooded’, WOODED, which you can use to describe an area of land which is ‘covered in trees’. Or ‘wooden’, WOODEN meaning an item ‘made of wood’. Or even the adjective ‘woody’, WOODY - for example ‘That pear I ate was woody’ meaning it ‘had the texture of wood’ - so it wasn’t very nice! These words are related and similar and that’s largely a positive because they’re easier to remember.
But one of the things that can happen, where you’ve got related words with the same stem - like ‘wood’ and wooden’ - there can be a change in emphasis, a change in which syllable is emphasised. More explanation? Well, a syllable, SYLLABLE is a single voiced noise in a word. So the word ‘telephone’ has three syllables, the word ‘table’ has two syllables and the word ‘noise’, NOISE has one syllable - if that makes clear what a ‘syllable’ is? And in English pronunciation, we put emphasis or stress on certain syllables within words. That can be difficult for some people learning English because this doesn’t happen so much in some other languages. In some languages, all syllables within words have equal emphasis. Or where they do have emphasis, then it’s predictable. And yes, you’ve guessed it! Oh...in English, it’s not that predictable! We might pause at that moment, so that you can ‘roll your eyes’ and say ‘Ugghh! How typical! English is unpredictable…..’
Let me explain a bit more. Take the word ‘telephone’ - TELEPHONE. It’s a bit formal - we might say ‘phone’, PHONE instead, or more usually it might be ‘mobile’ to mean your mobile phone. But if you’re talking about ‘a telephone system’ or ‘the cost of telephones’ to a business, you might talk about ‘telephony’. Hear that again? ‘Telephone’ and ‘telephony’. Notice which syllable is being emphasised in each of those words - again? ‘TELephone’ and ‘TelEPHony’. So in ‘TELephone’, it’s the first syllable. And in ‘TelEPHony’, it’s the second syllable. Now this difference may not sound important - but to an English speaker, if you say ‘telephony’, it would sound completely wrong! It may even make someone smile because we’d see it as a mispronunciation. We don’t say ‘Ba-Na-Naa’, we say ‘ba-NA-na’.
And this happens a lot in English. Let’s have a look at some more words which do this - this change in emphasis, when you give the word a slightly different ending, to give it a related meaning. So we say ‘techNOLogy’, but technoLOGical. The country name ‘VietNAM’ and yet ‘the adjective meaning ‘from Vietnam’ would be ‘VietnamESE’ - so the emphasis shifts to the final syllable there. The country, ‘HUNgary’, but someone who comes from that country, we would call them ‘HunGARian’. I’m emphasising it a little here, but just so that you get the idea. And this ‘switch’ in which syllable in the word is emphasised happens a lot with countries and their related adjectives.
DEMocrat, but deMOCRacy. I’m not trying to cover all words here that do this - there will be thousands and thousands of them. But I’m just trying to raise your awareness of these patterns in pronunciation. If you’re talking about the person with a drug problem, they might be an ADDict, but their problem is adDICtion. Can you hear it? ‘ADDict’ - first syllable emphasis, adDICtion - second syllable emphasis. Even a word like PROBlem can be probleMATic.
A photograph of a language learner listening to a podcast. Elevate your spoken English with our new lesson on pronunciation, word stress, and emphasis.
And sometimes it’s not even a ‘word stem with different endings’ for nouns or verbs or adjectives. It’s basically the same spelling, the same word, but the different stress indicates to you whether it’s being used as a noun or a verb. Think about the following:-
The verb is ‘to susPECT’, but if you’re talking about the person who’s ‘under susPICion’, they’re a SUSpect.
The verb is ‘to reCORD’, but if you’re talking about the thing you’ve reCORDed, that’s a ‘RECord’. Can you hear the difference? ‘ReCORD’ is the verb. ‘RECord’ is the noun.
You might say ‘Allow me to preSENT my ideas’. But if I give you a gift, that’s a PRESent’. Same spelling, different meaning, different emphasis. And if I’m using this word, PRESent to say that ‘I’m here’, I’d emphasise the first syllable.
You might say ‘We visited the farmer’s market and bought fruit and vegetables - they had all kinds of PRODuce. How do the farmers manage to proDUCE so much? So of course, ‘PRODuce’ is a noun, an uncountable noun. Whereas ‘to proDUCE” is a verb.
Just Stop Oil were holding a PROtest. But what were they proTESTing about? So PROtest is a noun. And ‘to proTEST’ is a verb.
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There are some patterns here - I hesitate to say ‘rules’, because there are probably other examples which don’t take the same pattern. It’s inconsistent. But where there is a noun like ‘SUSpect’ and a verb like ‘to susPECT’ then often the emphasis is on the 1st syllable for the noun and the 2nd syllable for the verb. ‘SUSpect - noun, ‘susPECT’- verb. Similarly an OBject is a thing, a noun with emphasis on 1st syllable but if you obJECT to something, meaning that you don’t like it, you’re complainin’ - then that’s an emphasis on the 2nd syllable. So there are places where there are learnable patterns. That’s where the spelling is the same, but it’s the correct pronunciation, the correct emphasis which shows you whether these words are nouns or verbs.
And sometimes the difference is stress can be the difference between a British and an American pronunciation. Think about the following examples:-
BroCHURE, that’s BROCHURE - is an American pronunciation. A British person would say ‘BROchure’. BaLLET would be American. But BALLet would be British. An American might say caFÉ, whereas a British person would say CAfé.
Again, I’m not trying to cover all of the words where this happens - but I’m just pointing some out, just making you aware that emphasis or stress on certain syllables in words matters. It’s an important part of pronunciation, that sometimes gets neglected. Much of this emphasis and it being in the right place, on the right syllables will happen automatically for you - if you’re using Adept English, especially so because you’re learning through listening. But if you really want to pay attention to your pronunciation, if this is the stage you’re at, then you would do well to focus a little on emphasis and stresses within words.
And if you’re at the stage in your English language learning where you feel that you would like help with perfecting your pronunciation, so that you can get closer to native English speaker pronunciation, then have a look at the Adept English Consonants Pronunciation Course. There are many challenges in English consonant pronunciation and the course covers pretty much all of them. You can find that course on our website at adeptenglish.com, on our Courses page and that’s the Adept English Consonants Pronunciation Course.
Listen to this podcast a number of times - and try to come up with your own examples of these words, where the stress lands in a different place, on a different syllable if you add a different ending or you use it to mean something different.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com
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