Communicate your meaning in English with Sentence Stress
Sentence stress is the way we emphasise or make some words sound strong and unstress or make some words sound weak. Here is an example of a sentence with weakly stressed words and strongly stressed words. Read it aloud and stress the bold words and not the others.
- The is and the are onto the .
We can stress or emphasise words in different ways. We can say them a little louder, a little slower, or a little higher in pitch and pause a little before and after the word. When we don’t stress words we say them more quickly, more softly and with a lower pitch. Contractions of auxiliary verbs are another way to not stress words in a sentence. Again, read the following sentence aloud and stress the bold words and not the others.
- There are with their and .
Usually we stress the information words such as the adjectives, nouns, verbs and adverbs. Other parts of speech such as prepositions, auxiliary verbs and articles are often not stressed. Cleverly, we can change the meaning of a sentence by choosing to stress the correct words. Now watch how we can change the meaning of the same sentence:
- really like your coat.Stressing and not somebody else.
- I like your coat. Stressing meaning I like it a lot.
- I really your coat. Stressing instead of dislike.
- I really like coat. Stressing coat and not somebody else’s.
- I really like your . Stressing and not something else of yours.
- Please enter the gate and close it behind you.
We will sound like robots and our meaning will not be clear to our listeners. Try saying this sentence like a robot and give every word the same stress.: