“Stressed” and “Un-Stressed” Vowel Pronunciation

Stress - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Relax…  I didn’t mean that kind of “Stress”.  I’m talking about the the term, “Stress” which is referring to the amount of emphasis (or lack there-of) that is put on the different vowels of a word, when we are pronouncing them in The Common Tongue (American English, with a little bit of “International Flavor” 😉 .)

The video below is one that I recommend to (so-far)  every single one of my students, since the time that I first watched it.  The reason for this is that the speaker in the video explains how the spelling of English words, often, does not convey the proper pronunciation of the word.  And, to make matters worse, phonetic alphabets and diacritical marks (or, at least, the way that they are traditionally used) are also imperfect.

However, the two used in combination – or (as is done on The GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! – Pronunciation Portal) by seeing the word written in the phonetic alphabet, and comparing that to the same word – written phonetically in the regular alphabet – one can get a good idea of the pronunciation by comparing and contrasting the two.  You can see what I mean on The Pronunciation Portal.  But for now…

Check Out The Video To Learn How To Make Your English Pronunciation A Lot Easier! 

A Quick Note

There are just a few things that I disagree with, that I need to mention here, because it is vitally important to you learning English pronunciation without the difficulties that so many others have experienced.

  • At 1:35 –  she says that,  “…the vowel can sound like this…” and points to the schwa symbol:  ə – however, there are at least three different ways that the schwa can sound.  It does not always sound like “uh” (which is actually just a “short u” sound that has been cut very…  well, short)
  • At 1:38 – she says something which (though she probably doesn’t realize it) is the WORST thing that a teacher can EVER say to student!!!  She says, “That makes English really difficult actually.”  🙁

“Complex” is NOT the same as “Difficult”

Telling a student that something is, “difficult” is complete Bə(ʌ)Lʃə(ɪ)[T]!!!…  And almost every teacher does it.  There is nothing “difficult” about learning English.  It is the same as learning anything else.  It may be “complex” – yes…  But there is nothing “difficult” about what she is saying.

If you can make the sounds, you can do anything that a  native speaker can do – and once learned, will probably do even better, as you will not have learned the mistakes that we learned from TV, Movies, the other kids at school, and those that we are surrounded with on a daily basis.

There is nothing about what she is saying that is any different from any other language.  I lived in Eastern Europe for many years where the Cyrillic alphabet is used – and in this alphabet, each letter is supposed to represent only one sound.  But when they are speaking, they change the sounds, just like we do in English.  It’s same in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, German, etc…  In fact, this is probably true of EVERY language on the planet.


Just remember…  You can do this…  You can learn proper pronunciation, grammar, use of prepositions, etc.  In fact, You can do Anything!  And if you need a little motivation, just check this out.

Also, don’t let my points about “difficulty” stop you from taking benefit from the important points from this video.  What the speaker is saying, throughout the rest of the video, is excellent information.  But, I absolutely will not tolerate, or abide, any person or group who tries to take away the power of my Self or any other – whether knowingly or not – by telling them what they can and can’t do.

John Locke - GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!

Have An Excellent Day!




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