What is Word Stress?
Word Stress plays an important role in correct pronunciation of English words.
In order to understand word stress, it helps to understand syllables.
A syllable is unit of sound made from a single vowel, or single vowel/consonant combination.
Every word is made from syllables. Each word has one, two, three or more syllables.
Syllables break our words up into sections which can be stressed, or unstressed. Which syllable is stressed, alters the pronunciation of the word.
Let’s say the following words aloud while stressing the first syllable:
Importance of Word Stress
English is a stressed language. Word stress plays a very important role in English speaking.
It is not just optional for English language but a very essential and important part of the language.
Word stress helps English speakers to communicate accurately and fluently.
For example, even if one do not hear a word clearly but one can still understand the word because of where the stress is placed in the word.
If one uses word stress in his/her speech one can really improve his/her pronunciation and comprehension.
Rules of Word Stress in Spoken English
There are two very simple rules:
One word has only one stress, for example PRESent, Table.
We can only stress vowels, not consonants, for example HAPpy, CLEver, CHIna, aBOVE