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English Pronunciation—Stresses. Tu Pei Beijing Foreign Studies University. What is good English pronunciation?. A lofty goal. sound like native speakers. A modest , realistic goal. to develop a clear, understandable pronunciation with appropriate intonation and stress.

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English pronunciation stresses

English Pronunciation—Stresses

Tu Pei

Beijing Foreign Studies University

What is good English pronunciation?

A lofty goal

sound like native speakers

A modest, realistic goal

to develop a clear, understandable pronunciation with appropriate intonation and stress

Why is good pronunciation so important?


is the most sensible goal.


is being understood by a listener in a given situation

Poor, unintelligible speech will make your attempts at conversing frustrating and unpleasant both for yourself and for your listeners.

What are the priorities for Chinese learners?

Priority aspects for Chinese learners

weak forms




What are the tips on good English pronunciation?

Be aware of the major differences between Chinese and English pronunciations.

Be aware of the special features of English pronunciation that are most difficult for the Chinese learners.

English stresses

Chinese is a tone language while English is a highly stressed language.

Apart from the vowel qualities and consonant qualities, stresses play a very important role in conveying the meaning of a sentence in English.


The girl gave the money to her father.

The Greens will never agree to that.

. The GREENS will never agree to that. The Greens will NEVER agree to that. The Greens will never AGREE to that. The Greens will never agree to THAT.

  • 汉语

  • 声母+韵母+声调——>单音节词

  • (决定了它只有声调, 没有重音)

  • 英语:

  • 辅音+元音——>单音节词,双音节词,多音节词

  • (决定了它必须有重音)

Word Stress


coming letter beautiful

report myself forget

remember explosion modernization

Sentence stress

In a normal English sentence certain words are stressed and certain words are unstressed.

Normally stressed are content words. Normally unstressed are form words.


1. Janet has gone to the Baker’s.

2. I saw your brother yesterday.

3. Would you like a glass of beer?

4. I must be going. My wife’s waiting

for me at the corner of the street.

Stress gives a natural rhythm to spoken english

Stress and Rhythm

Stress gives a natural rhythm to spoken English.


  • The rhythm of spoken English is determined by the occurrence of stressed syllables. Stressed syllables occur at more or less equal intervals in English. The other syllables in a sentence are reduced or blended to accommodate the regular beat of the stressed syllables.

Rules of stresses

  • As a general rule English tries to avoid having stresses too close together.

  • English stresses tend to recur at regular intervals.

Stress patterns


  • Sing a song.

2. I’d love to.

3. I’ve heard of it.

4. I want to know.

5. She asked me to go.

6. I think it will be fine.

Stress timed language


Go home

Going home

Going back home

Going straight back home

Weak forms


A cup of tea John’s at home.

A glass of water I can speak English.

A block of flats I’d like some potatoes.

The book that I want I’ve been to France.

Bread and butter We were leaving the house.

Weak forms

Weak Forms

The weak form or forms of a word are used only in unstressed positions.

The weak forms of the words are of much more frequentoccurrence than their strong forms.



/*nd/ /2nd/ /nd/ /n/

bread and butter

Ladies and gentlemen

The average learner uses far too many strong forms; it is impossible to speak English fluently unless the phenomenon of weak forms is properly understood and their use acquired, preferably from the earliest stage. .

Features that help you read smoothlyspeech flow --- stress, rhythm, intonation weak forms 弱读 sound linking 连读 loss or incomplete plosion 失去或不完全爆破consonant clusters 辅音连缀 elision 省音pauses 停顿

Seasons smoothly

Spring is green,

Summer is bright,

Autumn is golden,

Winter is white.

Year in year out,

We work and fight,

For anew world, of red sunlight.







Seasons smoothlySpring is green, Summer is bright, Autumn is golden, Winter is white. Year in year out, We work and fight, For a new world, of red sunlight.

It smoothly’s a Small WorldIt’s a world of laughter, a world of tears.It’s a world of hopes; it’s a world of fears.There’s so much that we share.That it’s time we’re aware.It’s a small world after all.

Edelweiss smoothly/#eidlvais/Edelweiss, edelweiss, every morning you greet me.Small and white, clean and bright,You look happy to meet me.Blossom of snow, May you bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever.Edelweiss, edelweiss, bless my homeland forever.

Do Re Mi Song smoothly

Let’s start at the very beginningA very good place to startWhen you read you begin with ABCWhen you sing you begin with Do Re Mi

Whatever Will Be, Will Be smoothlyWhen I was just a little girl, I asked my mother“What will I be?”“Will I be pretty?”“Will I be rich?”Here’s what she said to me,(Que, ‘Sera, ‘Sera)“Whatever will be, will be.The future’s not ours to see,(Que, ‘Sera, ‘Sera) What will be, will be.”

Practice, practice and practice smoothly


The rain is raining all around,

It falls in field and tree.

It rains on the umbrellas here,

And on the ships at sea.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Practice, practice and practice smoothly

Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night,And dress by yellow candle-light.In summer quite the other way,I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see,The birds still hopping on the tree,Or hear the grown-up people’s feet,Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,When all the sky is clear and blue,And I should like so much to play,To have to go to bed by day?

-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Learning a foreign language was one of the most difficult yet most rewarding experiences of my life. Although at times, learning a language was frustrating, it was well worth the effect. My experience with a foreign language began in junior middle school, when I took my first English class. I had a kind and patient teacher who often praised all of the students. Because of this positive method, I eagerly answered all the questions I could, never worrying much about making mistakes. I was at the top of my class for two years.

Thank you
Thank you! yet most rewarding experiences of my life.