Speech Work (Emphatic Stress)


Welcome to Class !!

We are eager to have you join us !!

In today’s English Language class, We will be learning about Emphatic Stress. We hope you enjoy the class!


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Emphatic Stress

Empathic Stress is also known as contrastive stress. It is the stressing of a particular word more than the other words in a sentence. Such word stress normally has its implications in terms of the meaning of the sentence.

Consider the sentence below and notice how it’s meaning changes according to the word that has been stressed.

  1. JAMES borrowed the novel. (i.e., James, not anybody else borrowed the novel)
  2. James BORROWED the novel. (i.e., James didn’t, for example, steal or buy the novel; he borrowed it)
  3. James borrowed THE novel. (i.e., James borrowed a particular novel well known to the discussants.)
  4. James borrowed the NOVEL. (i.e., James borrowed the novel, not the magazines, not the journal etc.)


Evaluation:  Now answer the following questions:

  1. The man takes COFFEE every Sunday morning.

a) Does the man take coffee every Monday morning?

b) Does the man take coffee every Sunday morning?

c) Does the man take tea every Sunday morning?


2) Students must study HARD to pass their examinations.

a) Who must study hard to pass their examinations?

b) Why must students study hard?

c) How must students study to pass their examinations?


3) Many students are weak in ORAL English.

a) Are many students weak in written English?

b) Are many students strong in Oral English?

c) Who are weak in Oral English?


  1. Adamu OPENLY disagreed with his principal.

a) Did Adamu openly disagree with his friend?

b) Did Adamu secretly disagree with his principal?

c) Who openly disagreed with his principal?


  1. Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.

a) Is honesty always the best policy?

b) Is honesty seldom the best policy?

c) Is dishonesty always the best policy?


Reading Assignment: Read Exam Focus for more information.


Reference: Ogunsanwo’s Countdown English Language.




We have come to the end of this class. We do hope you enjoyed the class?

Should you have any further question, feel free to ask in the comment section below and trust us to respond as soon as possible.

In our next class, we will be revising and reviewing common Literary Terms. We are very much eager to meet you there.


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