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Sentence Stress in English
Sentence stress is the music of spoken English. Like word stress, sentence stress can help you to understand spoken English, especially when spoken fast.
Sentence stressis what gives English its rhythm or "beat". You remember that word stress is accent on one syllable within a word. Sentence stress is accent on certain words within a sentence.
Most sentences havetwo types of word:
• content words
• structure words
Content words are the key words of a sentence. They are the important words that carry the meaning or sense.
Structure words are not veryimportant words. They are small, simple words that make the sentence correct grammatically. They give the sentence its correct form or "structure".
If you remove the structure words from a sentence, youwill probably still understand the sentence.
If you remove the content words from a sentence, you will not understand the sentence. The sentence has no sense or meaning.
Imagine that you receive thistelegram message:
Will you SELL my CAR because I've GONE to FRANCE
Click here to hear

This sentence is not complete. It is not a "grammatically correct" sentence. But you probably understand it.These 4 words communicate very well. Somebody wants you to sell their car for them because they have gone to France. We can add a few words:
Will you SELL my CAR because I've GONE to FRANCE
Clickhere to hear

The new words do not really add any more information. But they make the message more correct grammatically. We can add even more words to make one complete, grammatically correctsentence. But the information is basically the same:
Content Words
Will you SELL my CAR because I've GONE to FRANCE.
Structure Words
Click here to hear

In our sentence, the 4 key words (sell, car,gone, France) are accentuated or stressed.
Why is this important for pronunciation? It is important because it adds "music" to the language. It is the rhythm of the English language. It changes the...
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