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English Pronunciation. Sentence Stress. By Ruth Wickham, Training Fellow, IPGKDRI. For people to understand your English. stress can be more important than pronunciation. The MEANING is in the Stress. To CORRECT information. To CHECK information. The Meaning is in the Stress.

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English pronunciation

English Pronunciation

Sentence Stress

By Ruth Wickham, Training Fellow, IPGKDRI

For people to understand your English

stress can be more important than pronunciation.

The meaning is in the stress
The MEANING is in the Stress

To CORRECT information

To CHECK information



is in the


For example

One sentence different meanings
One Sentence, Different Meanings

  • Are you going to eat THAT?

    [Meaning: it’s so big! / it’s disgusting!]

  • Are you going to EAT that?

    [Meaning: I’m not sure that it’s really ‘food’!]

  • Are YOU going to eat that?

    [Meaning: I thought you bought it for me!]

  • ARE you going to eat that?

    [Meaning: you are sitting here just looking ...]

English is stress timed rather than syllable timed
English is stress-timed rather than syllable-timed

Chinese Rhythm

English Rhythm

Stress timed language
Stress-Timed Language

  • Dogs chase cats

  • The dogs chase cats

  • The dogs chase the cats

  • The dogs will chase the cats

  • The dogs will be chasing the cats

Beat and rhythm
Beat and Rhythm ♫

I was talking to Brian when I ran into Sue.

I was waiting for Jack when I saw Mary Lou.

They were cleaning the house when I knocked at the door.

He was dusting a lamp when it fell on the floor.

She was learning to drive when I met her last May.

She was buying a car when I saw her today.

She bought a computer before.

FELT very

HAPpy when she

LEFT the

STORE, she had


BOUGHT a com-

-PUTer be-


he FELT very never gone out on a date before.

NERvous when he

KNOCKED on the


he had NEver gone OUT on a DATE be- FORE.

She FELT had the ‘flu before.

very WEAK

and her THROAT

was SORE.

She had NE-ver


the ‘FLU

be- FORE.

He FELT never baked a pie before.

very PROUD when his GUESTS asked

for MORE.

He had NEVER



be- -FORE.

She FELT never eaten with chopsticks before.

very FOOL-ish

when her FOOD hit

the FLOOR.

She had NEV-er


with CHOP-sticks

be- -FORE.

He LOOKED been close to a lion before.


when it START-ed

to ROAR.

He had NEV-er

been CLOSE

to a LI-on

be- -FORE.

She was VER-y made so much noise before.


when he START-ed


He had NEV-er


so much NOISE

be- -FORE.

He was VER-y never seen so much money before.

sur- -PRISED

when he OP-ened


He had NEV-er


so much MON-ey

be- -FORE.

Contact never seen so much money before.

Ruth Wickham: [email protected]

Website: http://acollectionofteslresources.weebly.com