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  • In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to go over the topic of word and verbs.

  • If you've already seen my video on an introduction to word stress, and my video on content words,

  • then you know that main verbs will be stressed in a sentence. Today we're going to look at

  • some sentences and see what this actually means, to be stressed. In the sentence, "I'm

  • leaving soon," what do you notice about the pitch? I'm leaving soon. If you're not sure

  • what you're hearing, here's a visual. I'm leaving soon. The blue line is the pitch.

  • You can see the shape of the stress in the word 'leaving'. Up then down" leaving [3x].

  • So the voice goes up in pitch, and then down. That is the shape of stress. I'm leaving soon.

  • So, that will be the shape of main verbs when you're speaking, because main verbs are content

  • words, and content words are stressed. Let's look at some more sentences. She's taking

  • the bus. She's taking the bus. Taking. She's taking the bus. The up and down of the voice

  • is not as dramatic here as it was in the first example. But you can still clearly see this

  • little curve. That gliding up and down motion is the shape of stress. Taking. [3x]

  • We're running late. [4x]

  • Here again, the change in pitch, up and down, is not so big. But it is unmistakable. Running. [2x]

  • I passed the test. [4x]

  • Again, you see the glide up and glide down, curve of the voice on the stressed syllable,

  • passed. Passed. [3x]

  • It's important that you don't rush through content words. Give them enough time to have

  • this shape of up and down. This up/down shape is in contrast to function words, which will

  • be flatter, lower in pitch, and also quicker. This contrast is what makes American English

  • easy to understand to American ears. So, correct American English pronunciation depends on

  • it. To work on this, take any text. First, pull out the verb and work on it on its own:

  • work, work. Then speed it up, maintaining the shape, and put it back into the sentence,

  • again, making sure that you have this up/down shape, to make sure you're stressing the word.

  • Never go through the word so quickly that you're giving up the shape. Now that you know

  • that main verbs should be stressed, and how to stress them, go out and do just that.

  • That's it, and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

  • Don't stop there. Have fun with my real-life English videos. Or get more comfortable with

  • the IPA in this play list. Learn about the online courses I offer, or check out my latest video.

In this American English pronunciation video, we're going to go over the topic of word and verbs.

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A2 shape stress pitch stressed leaving american english

Word Stress and Verbs: American English Pronunciation

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    Sam posted on 2015/04/07
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