In multi-syllable words the stress falls on one of the syllableswhile the other
syllables tend to be spoken over quickly. This leads to sounds that are not clear (muted) on unstressed syllables. In order to improve your pronunciation, focus on pronouncing the stressed syllable clearly. However, don’t be afraid to “mute” (not say clearly) the other unstressed vowels. Listen to the examples by clicking on “listen”. Return to this page using the “back” button on your browser.
Unstressed syllables keep the correct sound, but sound muted. Sometimes, unstressed vowels become a schwa sound – like a soft “uh” sound.
At other times, the vowel is pronounced but not stressed.
One Syllable – Stressed
All one syllable words have the stress on the one syllable. The intonation should go down.
Two Syllable – First Syllable Stressed
GIant Say: Gi….ant
PICture Say: Pi..ch..your like peat..ch.your
HEAting Say: Heee..t..ing
Two Syllable – Second Syllable Stressed
toDAY Say: tooo….DAY
aHEAD Say: aaaa….HEAD
aLLOW Say: aaa…..LOUUW like LOUD but no “D” and not low
Three Syllable – First Syllable Stressed
Energy Say: INN….ER…Geeeee
Operate Say: OP..PER……attt no e sound
Organize Say: OR..gan…izzzz…. no e sound
Three Syllable – Second Syllable Stressed
meMORial Say: Ma…MOR..ee..al
aSSUMPtion Say: aaa..some…TION
caNAdian Say: CAN…DE…in
Three Syllable – Third Syllable Stressed
Four Syllable – Second Syllable Stressed
Four Syllable – Third Syllable Stressed