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Learn English Pronunciation: Rhythm and Stress


Rule 3: You want to stress, then pause, stress, then pause.  

Pausing gives your listener time to fully hear what you say. This is a standard strategy for speaking clearly. You will not sound natural if you speak so quickly that people cannot register your words. Also, you will be less able to hear yourself. This may cause you to have continued problems with important sounds, like R, L, TH or the vowels.

Pause before or after a stressed word. Also pause before connecting words like "and," "or," "but," "that," "which" and others. You can pause before prepositions as well. Grammatically a preposition begins a prepositional phrase, a separate thought or idea. Stress the noun in the phrase and say the preposition lightly. As before, the slash (/) indicates a pause.

Let me introduce you to my friend, Jeff.

            introduce                    friend, / Jeff.
Let me                  you / to my

Can we please discuss the changes they made to this contract?

             please /                   changes /                                contract?
Can we             discuss the                   they made / to this

Continue with the 5 Steps:

Rhythm and Stress: Rule 1
Rhythm and Stress: Rule 2
Rhythm and Stress: Rule 4
Rhythm and Stress: Rule 5

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