[MUSIC] Welcome to lesson two. In this video, I'll review key pronunciation skills to help you improve your fluency when you speak English. I'll discuss word and sentence stress and intonation. By the end of this video, you'll know which syllable to stress in a word in which words to stress in a sentence. You'll also know when to use rising and falling intonation. First, what is word stress? In English we stress just one syllable in every word. We say that one syllable more loudly, we say it higher and we make it last longer. Let's look and listen to some words with two or more syllables. Chicago, grandmother, technology. Let's try some more. Strengthen, January, university. Which syllable gets the stress? Why is word stress so important? Word stress is like a magic key to clear English. As you talk to people, listen to the news, watch movies, you must listen for and practice word stress. It will help you to understand what you hear and it will let others understand you. In the resources for this lesson, you will find materials to practice word stress. Use an audio dictionary to listen to each of the words and mark which syllable gets the stress. Listen for the syllable that's a little louder and longer. Practice to get it right. Now let's look at the second key pronunciation skill, sentence stress. Sentence stress gives English its rhythm and its beat. It's that ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta you hear when you listen to English. How do we create it? When we say a sentence, some words are strong, and others are weak. The last word is the strongest and longest. This combination of strong and weak words creates rhythm in each sentence. Let's see if you can hear it. >> He bought some jeans, ta, ta, ta, taa. He bought a pair of jeans, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta, taa. John bought two pairs of jeans, ta, ta, ta, ta, ta taa. >> Great listening, you heard correctly. So why were the verb, buy and the nouns, pair and jeans, stressed? To put it simply, those are the important words, the keywords in the sentence and we always stress the important words. We call them content words. They give us the meaning of a sentence. And what are the content words in every sentence? Action verbs. Nouns, adjectives, adverbs, WH Questions Words, and Negatives. Try and choose the content words in the next sentences. What about the words we don't stress? They're structure words. We use them to construct our sentences, but they don't carry a lot of meaning, and we don't stress them. We can leave them out, and our listeners will still be able to understand us. So what are they? They're the prepositions, the pronouns, the articles, the modals and the helping verbs. What do you need to remember about sentence stress? Content words are the key words. They are the words we stress. They are longer and louder. They always have a beat. If you take them out, the sentence will make no sense. On the other hand, we do not stress the structure words, often the little words in sentences. If you remove them, the sentence will still make sense. So by saying the content words loudly, and make them last longer and the structure words softly and shorter, we create the rhythm of English. Now, let's add intonation to what we've learned about word and sentence stress. What is it? It's the way your voice rises when you ask a question that gets yes or no for an answer. Questions like, do you have the letter? Did you make the call? Rising intonation tells your listener you're asking a question and want yes or no for an answer. Intonation is also the way your voice rises and falls when you make a statement or ask an information question. For example, summer weather in Atlanta is hot and humid. What's the weather like in your country? In rising and falling intonation, your voice rises and falls on the last important words of the sentence. Rising falling intonation tells your listener that you're finished. It's their time to say something or to answer your question. Let's do a quick review of what we've learned. First, word stress. We stressed one syllable in every word. We say that syllable louder, longer and higher. Second, we looked at sentence stress. In every sentence we stress the content words, but not the structure words. By saying the content words longer and louder and the structure words shorter and softer, we create the rhythm of English. And last, we discuss rising and falling intonation. Intonation lets your listener know what that you are finished with your statement or question. The best way to improve these skills is to listen and practice.