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  • In this American English pronunciation video, were going to go over how to work on long

  • words.

  • Multi-syllable words can be really tricky. There are so many sounds and transitions in

  • them. So today were going to talk about how to work on multi-syllable words.

  • I encourage you to keep a running list of long words that have come up in conversation

  • for you that are hard for you to say. Maybe they are words that relate to your field of

  • study or work.

  • Let’s use as an example the wordunderestimate’. First, look it up in the dictionary and get

  • the IPA. But what I really want to talk about today is, make sure you know what syllables

  • are stressed. This is a five-syllable word with stress on the middle syllable. There

  • is secondary stress in this word, marked by the little line at the bottom. I’m going

  • to say, don’t worry about that. Theyre more like unstressed syllables than stressed

  • syllables.

  • Let’s start by just practicing the stressed syllable. Es. Do you know the shape of a stressed

  • syllable? I made a video a long time ago about how the voice should curve up and then down

  • in a stressed syllable. The sounds are the most important in this stressed syllablethey

  • should be the clearest in your word. Practice just the stressed syllable using a hand movement,

  • the shape is really important in making the word sound natural. Es, es. Maybe even try

  • it in slow motion. Es.

  • Now let’s look at the rest of the syllables. We have two before and two after. Practice

  • these syllables together, there’s no need to practice them separately like the stressed

  • syllable.

  • First we haveunder’. These syllables should be really different than the stressed

  • one, es. Under, under. What’s different? Theyre a little quieter, less clear, they

  • don’t have that shape. There’s less energy in the voice. Underestimate. Two

  • more syllables, also unstressed. under-, -timate. There’s less mouth movement for these unstressed

  • syllables, isn’t there? under-, -timate. Theyre simpler. At the beginning of the

  • video, I talked about how long words can be hard because there are so many sounds, but

  • I want you to see that in unstressed syllables, the sounds don’t have to be fully formed

  • and fully pronounced. These sounds are quieter, flatter in pitch, faster, simpler. under-,

  • -timate. This should make long words easier, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to

  • practice them. You do, you need repeat a new word over and over, but the point is to break

  • it up into simplified and stressed syllables.

  • Let’s keep working on it: underestimate [2x]. Underestimate [3x].

  • Let’s try another word: inevitable. First, look up the stress. The second syllable is

  • stressed, which we know because of the mark before it. So let’s break it down. Ev, ev,

  • ev. Inevitable, -itable, -itable, -itable. Inevitable. Inevitable [3x]

  • Put together a list of long words and work through them this way. I really think that

  • breaking up a word into stressed and unstressed syllables is the best way to master it, along

  • with repetition. The more you get used to the contrast of stressed and unstressed syllables,

  • the better. Stress really matters in American English.

  • If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, please put it in the comments below.

  • Also, I’m very excited to tell you that my book is now on sale. If you liked this

  • video, there’s a lot more to learn about American English pronunciation, and my book

  • will help you step by step. You can get it by clicking here, or in the description below.

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

In this American English pronunciation video, were going to go over how to work on long

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B1 syllable stressed stressed syllable unstressed american english practice

How to Practice Multi-Syllable Words - American English Pronunciation

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    Caurora posted on 2016/10/01
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