Welcome to today’s class!!

We are excited to have you in today’s class!!

In today’s English class, we will be learning about Stress in the English Language.

When you hear the word, Stress, what comes to your mind?

In the English Language, Stress is considered to be an important concept because it easily helps you to read the meaning of what is said. 

stress in english

You can consider imagining it to be the difference between ‘can’ and ‘can’t.’ When saying these words, you can never  get the same sound. 

Let’s experiment with these sentences

  • They can come on Friday
  • They can’t come on Friday

From the examples above, you can easily observe that, “They can’t come on Friday” required more energy or emphasis than “They can come on Friday” because both the modal “can’t” and the verb “come” are stressed.

To easily grasp the concept, you need to understand which words we generally stress and which we do not stress. Stress words are considered words such as:

  • Noun

Peter is our noun for today. So we can say, Peter can’t come to the party because he is sick.


We could also say, Peter can’t call because he is unavailable. 

In other cases, we can also use some adjectives such as beautiful, intelligent, excellent, and so on. 

However for unstressed words, we could have Conjunction such as but, while, or as. We could also have Pronouns such as they, she, he.

For example, combining Conjunction with Pronoun in a sentence, we could have:

  • They decided to visit the girl in the hospital, but couldn’t as soon as it began to rain.
  • She wanted to visit her uncle, but couldn’t because of her friend.

You can now see how Stress helps in understanding what is being said better. Remember that in identifying what Stress is, always read the sentence out loud first before anything. 


Test your knowledge by identifying which words are content words and should be stressed in the following sentences:

  1. They’ve been learning English for two months.
  2. My friends have nothing to do this weekend.
  3. I would have visited in April if I had known Peter was in town.
  4. Shade will have been studying for four hours by six o’clock.
  5. The boys and I will spend the weekend next to the lake fishing for trout.
  6. Amos and Rebecca had finished the report before it was due last week.

Weekend Assignment

Explain how Unstressed Words acts as pronoun with three examples

We hope you enjoyed today’s class. We can’t wait to have you in our next class where we will be learning about Intonation.

Don’t forget to drop your questions and contributions in the comment box. See you in the next class!

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