0
Weak & Strong
Forms
we saw stressed and
unstressed syllables in
individual words
something similar happens in
complete sentences
Where are you from?
Where are you from?
I’m from London.
Where are you from?
I’m from London.
Where are you from?
I’m from London.
Where are you from?
I’m from London.
Where are you from?
I’m from London.
ɒ
ə
Are they from Italy?
Yes, they are.
Are they from Italy?
Yes, they are.
Are they from Italy?
Yes, they are.
Are they from Italy?
Yes, they are.
Are they from Italy?
Yes, they are.
Are they from Italy?
ɑː
ə
some words have two
pronunciations
a weak form
from / frəm /
are / ə /
and a strong form
from / frɒm /
are / ɑː /
the weak form is the usual
pronunciation
the weak form is the usual
pronunciation
it’s used when the word is
unstressed
the strong form is used only
when the word is stressed
the strong form is used only
when the word is stressed
eg. when it’s the last word
the vowel is simplified
(in most cases)
to ə or ɪ
which words have weak and
strong forms?
prepositions
prepositions
auxiliary verbs
prepositions
auxiliary verbs
modal verbs
prepositions
auxiliary verbs
modal verbs
pronouns
prepositions
auxiliary verbs
modal verbs
pronouns
possessive adjectives
prepositions
auxiliary verbs
modal verbs
pronouns
possessive adjectives
possessive pronouns
prepositions
auxiliary verbs
modal verbs
pronouns
possessive adjectives
possessive pronouns
conjunctions
prepositions
auxiliary verbs
modal verbs
pronouns
possessive adjectives
possessive pronouns
conjunctions
articles
prepositions
auxiliary verbs
modal verbs
pronouns
possessive adjectives
possessive pronouns
conjunctions
articles
prepositions
auxiliary verbs
modal verbs
pronouns
possessive adjectives
possessive pronouns
conjunctions
articles
which words only have strong
forms?
nouns
nouns
main verbs
nouns
main verbs
adjectives
nouns
main verbs
adjectives
adverbs
nouns
main verbs
adjectives
adverbs
nouns
main verbs
adjectives
adverbs
prepositions weak form strong form
from frəm frɒm
to tə tuː
at ət æt
in ɪn ɪn
on ɒn ɒn
aux. verbs weak form strong form
am əm æm
are ə ɑː
have həv hæv
had həd hæd
does dəz dʌz
modal verbs weak form strong form
can kən kæn
will wɪl wɪl
would wəd wʊd
shall ʃəl ʃæl
must məst mʌst
articles weak form strong form
a ə eɪ
an ən æn
the ðə ðiː
when do weak forms become
strong?
1.
the end of the sentence
Where are you from?
Yes, I am.
No, I’m not.
2.
negatives
I can speak German.
I can speak German.
ə
I can’t speak German.
I can’t speak German.
ɑː
You aren’t listening.
NB
I’m not listening.
the stress is always on ‘not’
even when it’s abbreviated
3.
auxiliary or modal substitutes or
includes the main verb
I can’t speak German
but my friend can.
Do you like English coffee?
No, I don’t.
4.
double stress for emphasis
I do like your hat!
I didn’t crash my car!
I didn’t crash my car.
I crashed hers!
look at this passage from
Charles Dickens’
A Tale of Two Cities
How many weak forms
can you find?
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it
was the age of wisdom, it was the age of
foolishness, it was the e...
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of
foolishness, it was the e...
ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times,
ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdom, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf
foolishness, ɪt wəs thɪ e...
now find the stressed and
unstressed syllables in these
words
How many have ə or ɪ ?
ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times,
ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdom, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf
foolishness, ɪt wəs thɪ e...
ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times,
ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdom, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf
foolishness, ɪt wəs thɪ e...
ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times,
ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdəm, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf
foolɪshnəss, ɪt wəs thɪ e...
ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times,
ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdəm, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf
foolɪshnəss, ɪt wəs thɪ e...
HOMEWORK
make a list of the weak forms
that you used in your latest
writing homework
www.davidnicholson.it
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Weak & strong forms

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The small words that manage the grammar in English have two different pronunciations. These are called weak and strong forms. The weak forms are unstressed and the strong forms stressed. Most weak forms have either schwa or short 'i' vowel sounds and they are difficult to hear. These words are very important for the pronunciation of English grammar--they are like the gluer in the phonetic system.

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  • Thanks a lot
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  • Here is your sentenced with the stressed syllables in capitals: i WONT be Able to COME to the PARty unLESS i FIND a BAbysitter. Try reading it aloud exaggerating the difference between the stressed and unstressed syllables--it'll soon make sense.
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  • 'Stress' is a different idea to 'emphasis for meaning'. 'Stress' explains how the music of the language works. There is a kind of 'step-up', step-down' effect with stress. Note that all words with more than one syllable have (obviously) a stressed syllable, so 'unless' is stressed on '-less'. My presentation above only deals in those one-syllable words that can go both ways.
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  • Hello, I have a quick question. I have been struggling with a sentence and would like to ask for your opinion. This is the sentence: "I won’t be able to come to the party unless I find a babysitter." Which words are stressed here? I thought "able" and "unless", but now I am confused about "won't" since it is a negative. I would love to hear your opinion. Thanks in advance!
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  • thanks
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Transcript of "Weak & strong forms"

  1. 1. Weak & Strong Forms
  2. 2. we saw stressed and unstressed syllables in individual words
  3. 3. something similar happens in complete sentences
  4. 4. Where are you from?
  5. 5. Where are you from? I’m from London.
  6. 6. Where are you from? I’m from London.
  7. 7. Where are you from? I’m from London.
  8. 8. Where are you from? I’m from London.
  9. 9. Where are you from? I’m from London. ɒ ə
  10. 10. Are they from Italy?
  11. 11. Yes, they are. Are they from Italy?
  12. 12. Yes, they are. Are they from Italy?
  13. 13. Yes, they are. Are they from Italy?
  14. 14. Yes, they are. Are they from Italy?
  15. 15. Yes, they are. Are they from Italy? ɑː ə
  16. 16. some words have two pronunciations
  17. 17. a weak form from / frəm / are / ə /
  18. 18. and a strong form from / frɒm / are / ɑː /
  19. 19. the weak form is the usual pronunciation
  20. 20. the weak form is the usual pronunciation it’s used when the word is unstressed
  21. 21. the strong form is used only when the word is stressed
  22. 22. the strong form is used only when the word is stressed eg. when it’s the last word
  23. 23. the vowel is simplified (in most cases) to ə or ɪ
  24. 24. which words have weak and strong forms?
  25. 25. prepositions
  26. 26. prepositions auxiliary verbs
  27. 27. prepositions auxiliary verbs modal verbs
  28. 28. prepositions auxiliary verbs modal verbs pronouns
  29. 29. prepositions auxiliary verbs modal verbs pronouns possessive adjectives
  30. 30. prepositions auxiliary verbs modal verbs pronouns possessive adjectives possessive pronouns
  31. 31. prepositions auxiliary verbs modal verbs pronouns possessive adjectives possessive pronouns conjunctions
  32. 32. prepositions auxiliary verbs modal verbs pronouns possessive adjectives possessive pronouns conjunctions articles
  33. 33. prepositions auxiliary verbs modal verbs pronouns possessive adjectives possessive pronouns conjunctions articles
  34. 34. prepositions auxiliary verbs modal verbs pronouns possessive adjectives possessive pronouns conjunctions articles
  35. 35. which words only have strong forms?
  36. 36. nouns
  37. 37. nouns main verbs
  38. 38. nouns main verbs adjectives
  39. 39. nouns main verbs adjectives adverbs
  40. 40. nouns main verbs adjectives adverbs
  41. 41. nouns main verbs adjectives adverbs
  42. 42. prepositions weak form strong form from frəm frɒm to tə tuː at ət æt in ɪn ɪn on ɒn ɒn
  43. 43. aux. verbs weak form strong form am əm æm are ə ɑː have həv hæv had həd hæd does dəz dʌz
  44. 44. modal verbs weak form strong form can kən kæn will wɪl wɪl would wəd wʊd shall ʃəl ʃæl must məst mʌst
  45. 45. articles weak form strong form a ə eɪ an ən æn the ðə ðiː
  46. 46. when do weak forms become strong?
  47. 47. 1. the end of the sentence
  48. 48. Where are you from?
  49. 49. Yes, I am.
  50. 50. No, I’m not.
  51. 51. 2. negatives
  52. 52. I can speak German.
  53. 53. I can speak German. ə
  54. 54. I can’t speak German.
  55. 55. I can’t speak German. ɑː
  56. 56. You aren’t listening.
  57. 57. NB
  58. 58. I’m not listening.
  59. 59. the stress is always on ‘not’ even when it’s abbreviated
  60. 60. 3. auxiliary or modal substitutes or includes the main verb
  61. 61. I can’t speak German but my friend can.
  62. 62. Do you like English coffee? No, I don’t.
  63. 63. 4. double stress for emphasis
  64. 64. I do like your hat!
  65. 65. I didn’t crash my car!
  66. 66. I didn’t crash my car. I crashed hers!
  67. 67. look at this passage from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities How many weak forms can you find?
  68. 68. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
  69. 69. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
  70. 70. ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdom, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf foolishness, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf belief, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf incredulity, ɪt wəs thə season əf Light, ɪt wəs thə season əf Darkness, ɪt wəs thə spring əf hope, ɪt wəs thə winter əf despair, wɪ had everything before əs, wɪ had nothing before əs, wɪ wə all going direct tə Heaven, wɪ wə all going direct thɪ other way—ɪn short, thə period wəs so far like thə present period, thət some əf ɪts noisiest authorities insisted on ɪts being received, fə good ə fə evil, ɪn thə superlative degree əf comparison only.
  71. 71. now find the stressed and unstressed syllables in these words How many have ə or ɪ ?
  72. 72. ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdom, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf foolishness, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf belief, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf incredulity, ɪt wəs thə season əf Light, ɪt wəs thə season əf Darkness, ɪt wəs thə spring əf hope, ɪt wəs thə winter əf despair, wɪ had everything before əs, wɪ had nothing before əs, wɪ wə all going direct tə Heaven, wɪ wə all going direct thɪ other way—ɪn short, thə period wəs so far like thə present period, thət some əf ɪts noisiest authorities insisted on ɪts being received, fə good ə fə evil, ɪn thə superlative degree əf comparison only.
  73. 73. ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdom, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf foolishness, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf belief, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf incredulity, ɪt wəs thə season əf Light, ɪt wəs thə season əf Darkness, ɪt wəs thə spring əf hope, ɪt wəs thə winter əf despair, wɪ had everything before əs, wɪ had nothing before əs, wɪ wə all going direct tə Heaven, wɪ wə all going direct thɪ other way—ɪn short, thə period wəs so far like thə present period, thət some əf ɪts noisiest authorities insisted on ɪts being received, fə good ə fə evil, ɪn thə superlative degree əf comparison only.
  74. 74. ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdəm, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf foolɪshnəss, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf bɪlief, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf ɪncrədulɪtɪ, ɪt wəs thə seasən əf Light, ɪt wəs thə seasən əf Darknəss, ɪt wəs thə spring əf hope, ɪt wəs thə wintər əf dɪspair, wɪ had everɪthɪng bɪfore əs, wɪ had nothɪng bɪfore əs, wɪ wə all goɪng direct tə Heavən, wɪ wə all goɪng direct thɪ othər way—ɪn short, thə perɪəd wəs so far like thə presənt perɪəd, thət some əf ɪts noisɪəst authorɪtɪs ɪnsistɪd on ɪts beɪng rɪceived, fə good ə fə evil, ɪn thə superlətɪve dɪgree əf cəmparɪsən onlɪ.
  75. 75. ɪt wəs thə best əf times, ɪt wəs thə worst əf times, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf wisdəm, ɪt wəs thɪ age əf foolɪshnəss, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf bɪlief, ɪt wəs thɪ epoch əf ɪncrədulɪtɪ, ɪt wəs thə seasən əf Light, ɪt wəs thə seasən əf Darknəss, ɪt wəs thə spring əf hope, ɪt wəs thə wintər əf dɪspair, wɪ had everɪthɪng bɪfore əs, wɪ had nothɪng bɪfore əs, wɪ wə all goɪng direct tə Heavən, wɪ wə all goɪng direct thɪ othər way—ɪn short, thə perɪəd wəs so far like thə presənt perɪəd, thət some əf ɪts noisɪəst authorɪtɪs ɪnsistɪd on ɪts beɪng rɪceived, fə good ə fə evil, ɪn thə superlətɪve dɪgree əf cəmparɪsən onlɪ.
  76. 76. HOMEWORK make a list of the weak forms that you used in your latest writing homework
  77. 77. www.davidnicholson.it
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