John’s English Blog

I’m John, an English language teacher. Welcome to my blog.


Stress and rhythm


stress and rhythm

This short blog post is about the stress and rhythm of English.

In English some syllables are stressed. These stressed syllables are said at roughly regular intervals. The unstressed syllables in between are shortened to fit this rhythm.

Here is the beginning of one of my favourite books, Fantastic Mr Fox, by Roald Dahl.

The sizes of the words show the stress and length of the words. Notice how the unstressed words are said in a faster and more relaxed way.

Down in the valley there were three farms.
The owners of these farms had done well.
They were rich men. They were also nasty men.

Listen to the video and pay attention to the rhythm. Now record yourself and play it back.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you have any comments, questions or corrections please write them below.

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