Speak like a NATIVE SPEAKER by using sentence stress in English (with examples!)


Hello, guys. Welcome back to www.engvid.com.

Today we are going to be looking at the words that you put stress on,

and how they give a different meaning to the sentence. So we're

going to be looking at this one... Well, two sentences, here, and how with different questions,

I might put a different stress, more emphasis, more volume, perhaps, on these particular words.

And then over here, I'm going to be looking at subtext. Yes, I'm saying words

to you, but what am saying underneath? What am I really saying to you? Okay? So I'm looking

at how, by putting emphasis on one word, it can change the entire meaning of the sentence.

Something really quite useful to hang onto, I hope.

So, unfortunately, back home I have some butter that has gone a little bit mad.

Now, today, my aunt came to have tea. In Britain, we have a cup of tea, and we have some toast, and

maybe some scones. My aunt is a little hard of hearing-okay?-so we need to repeat things,

and I need to say things quite loudly to her. So, my aunt said:

"Benjamin, which butter's off?" "Off" meaning bad, finished.

And so, when she said: "Which butter?" I need to tell

her that it's this butter, not that butter. "This butter's off", dear aunt. Okay?

This butter. Okay? So when she's asking which one it is, I emphasize: "This".

Now, she was... My aunt, she was walking around the kitchen and she'd heard me saying something

about being off, so she said: "Benjamin, what's off?" As in: What is off, what has gone bad?

And I said: "It's the butter's gone off. The butter's off." So when she's asking: What?

Well, what is about a thing, she's asking which thing. It's the butter which is bad,

as well as the pen.


Now, she didn't quite hear me, so she said: "What's the matter with the butter?" And I said:

"Well, the butter's off. It's gone bad. It's off." Okay?

So I emphasize "off", this is what the matter is, it's off.

My dear aunt, she stayed a little bit longer in my flat

today, and she heard me talking about my plans for the evening a bit later. And she said:

"Who's having dinner?" So I've got this sentence here: "We're having dinner late tonight."

So I said: "We're having dinner late tonight.", "We're", me and my wife are having dinner.

Okay? We are, we're, so I put the emphasis on here to make it clear to her so she understands

that it's me and... Me and bond girl.

-"What are you doing later?" -"We're having... We're having dinner."

-"What are you doing?" -"We're having dinner." -"What? -"Dinner."

-"What is it you're doing?" -"Dinner. We're having dinner." Okay? So I make it clear. This is

if I'm trying to make something really clear to someone, I would emphasize these words like this.

It's not always this obvious. You can do it just a little bit. Let's try it with a little bit.

So she says, my aunt, she says: -"When are we having dinner?"

-"We're having dinner late tonight, we're having late." Late. Or I might even say:

"Tonight. We're having dinner late tonight", as in:

"Don't forget it's today. Don't go anywhere, aunty, it's tonight." Okay?

So you can just change the meaning, change the emphasis. Okay? Emphasis

by putting stress on a different word.

Now, this is how to be mean, how to be a little bit nasty. Okay. So, I've got this sentence,

and I'm going to show you two different meanings that I can get from it. So we've got:

"She drives very carefully." Okay? I haven't put any particular emphasis on any of the words.

"She drives very carefully." But if I say: "SHE drives very carefully." Okay? If I say:

"SHE drives very carefully." I say that to my wife and I'm talking about my aunt driving

carefully, I'm saying: "She drives very carefully." I'm kind of saying:

"You don't drive very carefully." It's she, it's her who drives carefully.

Okay? So: "You don't drive carefully."

But if I'm talking about my dear aunt, and I says... And I say: "She drives very CAREFULLY."

Yeah? I might be being a little bit sarcastic.

You know? She's driving so carefully that

she won't go faster than 10 miles an hour. She drives so carefully I feel like killing

myself. Okay: "She drives too slowly." Okay? If I put the emphasis on "carefully". Okay?

Now, are we ready for this next bit? Are we ready, guys? Let's go. I've got a phrase here:

"You shouldn't have painted it." Okay? It's a... It's a small criticism.

"You shouldn't have painted it." But if I'm saying: "YOU shouldn't have painted it."

I'm saying that your painting is not good, so it should have been handsome handyman who painted it. Okay?

So you are not the person for this job; should have been him. Okay? So I'm basically saying:

"You're not so good at painting. You're bad at painting." But if I say:

"You shouldn't have PAINTED it." I'm saying: "How stupid are you? You painted the wall. You should

have put wallpaper up. Painting is not a good decision in this case." Yeah? If I'm emphasizing

the action to paint, I'm saying: "Painting, this is really a bad idea."

Guys, thank you so much for watching this evening, or this morning, or this afternoon,

or in the middle of the night. Go to bed! What I'd like you to do now is

quickly click on to www.engvid.com and try out a little test, testing your knowledge of different

connotations. I'm going to probably use some new sentences to test you out. And if

you find you're learning stuff from my videos, then well, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Yeah? Hopefully you'll learn some more by watching some more videos.

Well done.

Let's practice putting different meanings into your words.

Don't be late for bed, now.



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