How to sound like a native speaker - Word Stress


"Hi. I'm Jade. What we're talking about today is word stress in English. What's word stress?

Well, it's part of the rhythm of English, and it's what can help your English sound

much more natural. So we'll be looking at that. But more specifically, we'll be learning

some rules for word stress because you might understand it in principle, "Yeah some parts

of the word are stressed, and some bits aren't." But how do you actually apply that? And that's

what you're going to learn today. So we'll start by looking at an interesting

sentence, "We must POLISH the POLISH furniture." "Polish" is an action, verb, for cleaning

So something, making it shiny; and "Polish" is an adjective for furniture from Poland.

So although they're the same spelling, they have different sounds, and that's because of word

stress. And we'll look at those words. So just make a note of it. That's the verb, and

that's the adjective. And we're going to -- we're now going to look at where to put the stress.

So the general rule for two-syllable words is: the noun or adjective, the stress is on

the first syllable. The noun or adjective, the stress is on the first syllable. And that's

how you show word stress. The stress is the circle, and the unstress is a line. It's above

the -- it's probably not something you can see right now. I've just realized. So I'll

do it like that. You can see now. What about this one, the verb? The verb is the second

syllable. So unstress; stress for the second syllable.

Let's have a look at some sentences with the word stress rules. So in these sentences,

I've got examples where we've got a noun in a sentence and a verb with a similar meaning

in a different sentence. So you will hear a little bit of a different pronunciation.

Perhaps quite a subtle difference in pronunciation, but the stress is in a different place. So

I'm going to show you that. So in this sentence, "decrease" is in the

noun form. So looking at our rule, where is the stress here? On the first syllable. We

show the stress by the circle and the unstress by the line. And what about this one? "Decreased"

is in the verb position, so we swap; we stress the second syllable. Now, I'll read them to

you. "There has been a DEcrease in wages. Wages deCREASED last year."

Let's take a look at the second one. "Present" here, is a noun because we've got "a" there,

"a lovely present". So, again, we put the stress here. And here is the verb. So we do

that pattern again. Now, I'll read them to you. "Tom bought me a lovely PREsent." Second

example, "We now preSENT the star of the show." Let's take a look at this third example here.

"Permit" -- "permit" in this sense, "You need a PERmit to park here" is saying -- in England,

you need a little piece of paper from the government to say that you can park in some

places. So it means you are allowed to park there. And it's similar to the verb, which

means "to allow". So "PERmit" here is a noun. Because it's a noun, we're going to stress

the first syllable. And here, "perMIT" is in the verb form, so we're going to change

it. We're going to do it like that. And I'll read those to you now. "You need a PERmit

to park here." Compare that to, "The school doesn't perMIT students to wear trainers."

So it's not "per" anymore; it's "pe", "pe-MIT". When we come back, we're going to look at

some other general rules and important things to know about word stress.

Are you ready for more word stress rules? Well, first of all, we've got some exceptions.

In the case of exceptions, the pronunciation is the same for the verb, the adjective, and

the noun if they have one. Let's have a look. "He PHOTOgraphed the whole

family." "She looks pretty in the PHOTOgraph." It's the same, okay? The stress is in the

same position, at the beginning of the word. Should do a circle.

Next example, "I PRACtise singing every day." "The dentist surgery is a private PRACtice."

Again, the stress is in the same place, in the beginning in both instances. Here, "practice"

is a noun; here it's the verb. And our next example, "Sarah TRAvels business

class." And, "Where did you go for your TRAvels?" The stress is in the same place: TRAvels,

TRAvels, TRAvels -- In the beginning of the word.

And let's look now at when the noun and the verb have different meanings. In these other

examples, they have related meanings. In these examples, although they're the same word,

they have different pronunciations and different meanings, so let's look at that. And the pronunciation

difference is quite obvious in these examples. So "reFUSE" as a verb means "to say 'no'"

about something. But "REFuse" is a formal British word for "garbage", or "rubbish" -- we

say informally in English. So here's a sentence, "Residents refUSED plans for new REFuse bins."

There's the verb; there's the noun. "Residents refUSED plans for new REFuse bins."

Next example, "obJECT" to something means "to disagree" about something. It's quite

a formal word. And another meaning for "OBject" is "thing". Let's look at it in a sentence.

"I obJECT to that disgusting OBject. I obJECT to that disgusting OBject." Our stress here

for the verb; and our stress at the beginning for the noun.

And let's look at "reCORD", which is a verb -- "to capture on film". Like now, I'm being

"reCORDed". And it has two other meanings. It can be a file, an official file somewhere;

you can have a "record" somewhere. Or it can be a different old-fashioned format of music,

a round record. So here's a sentence. "We have a RECord of all the RECords reCORDED

by them." This one's a noun; this one's a noun; and that's the verb. So the stress is

in different places. I'll say that one again. "We have a RECord all of the RECords reCORDED

by them." So that's what I'm going to tell you about

word stress today. If you do like this lesson, please give it a thumbs up. I'd really appreciate

it if you subscribed to my channel, too. I do more lessons about learning English, not

only on my EngVid channel, but on my personal channel. You can also go into the EngVid website

to do the quiz on this, get a little bit more practice with your word stress -- words you

stress; words you unstress. And that's all I'm going to talk about for now -- I'm going

to talk about for now. So yeah. Come and see me again soon. Bye.