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GuestMy 5th grade son got a question wrong and the examples of what is a stressed and unstressed syllable on his test. The text book is not much help. Some words he did fine on and others which seem similar he got wrong. So what is the actual definition for each and some examples of each? Thank youAarrgh! This was so difficult for me when I was about that age!!! I could not pick out a stressed syllable in a word to save my life! It was just one of those things that suddenly "popped" into my brain, and after the "pop" I couldn't understand why I had thought it was so difficult!
You almost have to learn it from the viewpoint of making up jingles -- comical little refrains, preferably to go with some familiar song. Or you can learn it by trying to write limericks, or other humorous poetry with strong rhythms. Note the stressed syllables in bold font.
Roses are red. Violets are blue. The rest of the jingle is up to you.
The following lines have to have the same stress pattern or they won't sound right.
For example, Kalamazoo goes with Violets are blue, and committee certainly won't!
This kind of exercise might attune the ears to stress patterns.
Another excercise is to compare words like photograph, photography, and photographic; analysis, analytic; etc., noting how the stress shifts.
The unstressed syllable or syllables in a word are the ones that get pronounced less forcefully.
For example, the adverb forcefully has the first syllable stressed,
and the other two syllables unstressed: force´ful ly.
You can see the (´) mark to the right of the stressed syllable to denote stress.
This stressed syllable mark will be shown in all English dictionaries.
So, FORCE fully is the correct way to say this word.
FORCE = the stressed syllable
fully = the two unstressed syllables
If you said forceFULLY, the word would sound wrong.
Does this make sense?
trellisIn the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is used in virtually all European dictionaries including British dictionaries of English, the stress mark is to the left of the stressed syllable: forcefully ['fɔ:sfʊlɪ].
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