In this British accent audio training lesson, instead of focusing on how to say the de- stressed syllable, I have focused on the stressed syllable. For some students it’s hard to use the schwa vowel to make a de-stressed syllable. Even though this lesson is titled British accent audio, the tip also applies for the other English accents such as Australian and American.
The key to learning how to use syllable stress in words correctly, is to focus on the stressed syllable. You focus on making the stressed syllables loud and long. At the same time, relax and say the unstressed syllables quickly, and allow the vowel in these syllables to sound less clear as if the syllable has been squashed or condensed.
British Accent Audio Training (and other English accents)- word stress
(If I haven’t written a separate phonetic spelling for the Australian pronunciation, say it the way the British is said- the first phonetic spelling next to each word is the British)
affORdable /əˈfɔː.də.bəl/ US /əˈfɔːr.də.bəl/
priORity /praɪˈɒr.ə.ti/ US /praɪˈɔːr.ə.t̬i/
compeTItion /ˌkɒm.pəˈtɪʃ.ən/ US /ˌkɑːm.pəˈtɪʃ.ən/ (the ‘com’ syllable is the secondary stressed syllable- the vowel is said clearly but with slightly less loud and long)
forGiven /fəˈɡɪvən/ US /fɚˈɡɪvən/
apoloGETic /əˌpɒl.əˈdʒet.ɪk/ US /əˌpɑː.ləˈdʒet̬.ɪk/ Aust /əˌpɒl.əˈdʒet̬.ɪk
I hope this has made word stress easier for you. Also have a look here for more free training on learning correct word stress.
Best wishes, Esther
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