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Word Stress and Sentence Stress

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You Need Stress!

Learning about word stress and sentence stress can greatly improve your listening and speaking skills.

LEVEL GUIDE

Beginner

Elementary

 

 

Pre-Intermediate

Intermediate

Upper Intermediate

 

Advanced

Upper Advanced

 

What is Stress?

Stress is the emphasis we put on certain parts of a word:

com-PU-ter    WON-der-ful     i-ma-gi-NA-tion

or on certain words in a sentence:

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Stressed sounds are longer, higher and a little bit louder than unstressed sounds.  Learn more by visiting these links:

 

Links

Teens or Tens

13 or 30? This page explains the difference and gives you a test. Click 'Start' and then click the number you hear. 

Level: Elementary.  This website has sound Go>

Word Stress - English Club

Useful advice on six pages. 

Level: Intermediate to Advanced.  This website has sound Go>

Word Stress Game

Listen to the word and choose the correct pattern. UK and US accents.

Level: Intermediate to Advanced.  This website has sound Go>

Word stress quiz at esl.fis.edu

Word Stress - American Site

Listen and learn the general rules. There are exercises too.

Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This website has sound Go>

Word Stress - Record or Record?

Some words can be both nouns and verbs, but with different stress (the nouns have a stress on the first syllable and the verbs on the second syllable). Listen and test yourself.

Level: Advanced. This website has sound Go>

Sentence Stress - English Club

Learn about which words to stress in your sentences.  Remember to pronounce them slowly and clearly. 

Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This website has sound Go>

Which words should I stress?

Jennifer ESL

Jennifer is an English teacher in the USA. Learn grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation with her great lessons.

Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This website has video

Word Stress - Lesson 6a

Word Stress - Lesson 6b

Word Stress / US States - Lesson 6c

Word Stress / US States - Lesson 6d

Thought Groups - Lesson 7a

Thought Groups - Lesson 7b

Sentence Stress - Lesson 8a

Sentence Stress - Lesson 8b

Sentence Stress - Lesson 8c

Rhythm Through Rhyme (Pronunication) 3a

Rhythm Through Rhyme (Pronunication) 3a

Weak Forms and 'Schwa'

Many short words in English (such as prepositions) have a weak form when they are not stressed in a sentence. This is a BBC Radio Programme which you can listen to online, or to download the mp3 file, right-click and select 'Save target as...'

Level: Intermediate to Advanced. You need Flash and Adobe Reader. This website has sound Go>

More about 'schwa'

Exercise - listen and click every syllable with a 'schwa'

More exercises

Emphasising Different Words

Learn how sentence stress can be flexible according to your emphasis. 

Level: Upper Inter to Advanced. This website has sound Go>

 

 

 

Related Pages

Also on Okey-Dokey:

Listening - Hear English pronunciation in action!

 

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