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(British Spoken English) Stressed and Unstressed in a Sentence

 
 
Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2017 05:31 pm
Hello,

I have a problem to identifying the stressed words in a sentence read aloud in default by a native speaker of English, and my spoken English is relatively flat.

I understand the unstressed and stressed syllables in a word as there is international phonetic symbols to denoting each word. So, this is beyond my question and problem here.

I learnt generally prepositions, pronouns, articles, auxiliary verbs are ususually unstressed, but if they are in the front of sentences, prepositions, pronouns are stressed; and generally nouns, verbs, adjective, adverbs should be stressed . Do you think the rule is correct? If no, please correct me.

And could anyone with British accent denote the words which are stressed in each sentence in the following short story? I mean highlight the stressed words in blue. It is from a book named New Concept English with MP3. I don't have the preference on either American English accent or British English accent etc. but my MP3 about it is read aloud by a Briton, and I want to consciously identify how he reads aloud those words with stress and non-stress patterns.

I mean "Last week I went to the theatre."

Many thanks!

************************
Last week I went to the theatre. I had a very good seat. The play was very interesting. I did not enjoy it. A young man and a young woman were sitting behind me. They were talking loudly. I got very angry. I could not hear the actors. I turned round. I looked at the man and the woman angrily. They did not pay any attention. In the end, I could not bear it. I turned round again. ‘I can't hear a word!’ I said angrily.
‘It's none of your business, ’ the young man said rudely. ‘This is a private conversation!’
************************
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dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2017 02:20 pm
@iclearwater,
Icl, that's very good q an one I've pondered

Quote:
generally nouns, verbs, adjective, adverbs should be stressed . Do you think the rule is correct?
No, Wat, I GET THE FEELIN' IT'S TOO 'GENERAL,' but let's hear from them smarter'n me !!

One objection regarding such punct that has long puzled and intrigued me is its absence in the typical news story [or even Letter 'pon a 'pin page], where ital or bold might've better revealed meaning

Quote:
Last week I went to the theatre.
Implication, I don't do it much

Quote:
I had a very good seat.
That is, 'til the usher discovered I had leaked on the floor...

Quote:
The play was very interesting.
, contrary to Phil's assertion that he had found it boring


Quote:
I did not enjoy it
....although I sat entranced by the entire exhibition of naked girls

Quote:
A young man and a young woman were sitting behind me.
, in spite of our recent perspective to the effect that they were doing something else entirely
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2017 03:27 pm
@iclearwater,
English tends to be spoken in iambs, so there's a da DUM da DUM da DUM rhythm to the way it sounds, though not necessarily in that order. It can be DUM da DUM da DUM da. Multisyllabic words with stresses that don't follow the rhythm tend to break up the rhythm.

In your sentence the word "theatre" has two syllables with the first being stressed.

Aside from that, there isn't a set way that words are stressed as they're spoken, like when certain syllables are stressed for emphasis during speech.
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2017 03:33 pm
@InfraBlue,
Inf thanks for that'n', sooo much better'n mine. Lear, note my 4 diff ways to emph 'so'
0 Replies
 
iclearwater
 
  0  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2017 04:09 pm
@InfraBlue,
Thank you!

Last week I went to the theatre

Da Dum Da Dum Da Da Dum Da

Is this the correct rhythm for the sentence?

(for multisyllabic words like "theatre", it is "Dum Da". )

I guessed most native speakers wouldn't stress "to the". Would it break the rhythm about "Dum Da" or "Da Dum"?

InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2017 05:28 pm
@iclearwater,
It's not about correctness, it' about describing how English is spoken.

The syllables can be stressed a number of ways and they would be correct.
ekename
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2017 07:38 pm
@iclearwater,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_(linguistics)

Prosodic stress is also often used pragmatically to emphasize (focus attention on) particular words or the ideas associated with them. Doing this can change or clarify the meaning of a sentence; for example:

I didn't take the test yesterday. (Somebody else did.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I did not take it.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I did something else with it.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I took a different one.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I took something else.)
I didn't take the test yesterday. (I took it some other day.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_(prosody)
iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2017 03:51 am
@InfraBlue,
An British teacher told me there's a default form which is similar to what you mentioned previously "Dum da, Dum da" or "da Dum da Dum". I remembered he said if people didn't grasp stress well, that would sound very strange to native speakers. (I don't remember his words verbatim.)

I am still unable to to figure it out how that works. Confused

iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2017 03:56 am
@ekename,
Thank you for your reply. I understood how this works, as this is similar to my native language. For "this", I refer to I know if I need to emphasise certain words, those words should be stressed. This is as same as my native language.

I am confused by the default stresses in a sentence.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2017 04:38 am
@iclearwater,
iclearwater wrote:

I remembered he said if people didn't grasp stress well, that would sound very strange to native speakers.


That's true of all languages, if you want to sound like a native speaker you need to spend some time in the country in question.

People expect non native speakers to sound a bit strange anyway. Not just non native speakers either, Americans have problems pronouncing UK place names correctly.
iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2017 05:03 pm
@izzythepush,
Thank you for your comment.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2017 02:04 am
@iclearwater,
You're welcome, nobody expects someone learning a new language to sound like a natural for a long time. Don't let others' unreal expectations strees you out.

British politician Nick Clegg is supposedly fluent in Spanish, but when he was interviewed on Spanish TV he made a load of errors, chiefly translating the phrase 'we're all in the same boat,' literally when there is no equivalent meaning.

In English vernacular, the phrase 'in the same boat,' means being in a similar/identical situation to someone. If two people had both lost their jobs they could be said to be in the same boat. In Spanish it literally just means being in the same boat.

Nick Clegg is supposed to be Spanish, but despite his errors the interview was warm friendly and professional. People are very forgiving when it comes to language if you've actually made the effort to try to learn theirs.
iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2017 02:48 am
@izzythepush,
It's very nice of you to say these kind words to comfort and encourage me.

I never feel stressed about this, and always feel comfortable to speak in English.

The major reasons for me to learn are:
- I want to improve my English and everything else if possible. There's alway a better "me" waiting for myself to meet with.
- I think I am a relatively hearing-oriented person. I feel my spoken English just jars in my ears unlike that of native speakers which is flowing.
-Sometimes I want to enjoy some poets in English, but I stumble over meter.

Have a good one!
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2017 04:40 am
@iclearwater,
It won't jar, it might make them smile. We've got a Brazilian lady staying with us at the moment, and some of her turns of phrase are quite cute.

We were talking about coaches being the cheapest form of transport. We meant this.

https://i2-prod.getreading.co.uk/incoming/article11614626.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/national.jpg

This is what she thought we meant.

http://www.thehorsedrawncarriagecompany.com/images/horsedrawn-banner-1.jpg?crc=36529780
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2017 01:46 pm
@izzythepush,
Heh, he could have prefaced what he said by saying, "in English there's a saying." It's easy enough to understand the metaphor in Spanish. Even in the same language, there are regional expressions that are unknown in other regions. Spanish language forums are rife with threads in that regard.
0 Replies
 
iclearwater
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2017 07:11 pm
@izzythepush,
Thank you very much. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Dec, 2017 03:56 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
British politician Nick Clegg is supposedly fluent in Spanish, but when he was interviewed on Spanish TV he made a load of errors.

Many Brits think they (and other Brits) are "fluent" in some foreign language if they can string two words together. I remember reading that Tony Blair was "fluent" in French and then hearing him make a speech in Paris that was full of howlers and his accent was atrocious. He would have failed an 'O' level oral exam. I have to admit that my French oral examiner said "Vous souvenez-vous de la Révolution?" when I told him I was born in 1752. At least he gave me the chance ("Désolé, monsieur!") to correct myself.
0 Replies
 
 

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