Xem Nhiều 3/2023 #️ Pronunciation Of Words With Weak And Strong Forms # Top 6 Trend | Trucbachconcert.com

Xem Nhiều 3/2023 # Pronunciation Of Words With Weak And Strong Forms # Top 6 Trend

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English is a stress-time language which means that some words are stressed and others are not when speaking. Generally, content words such as nouns and principal verbs are stressed, while structure words such as articles, helping verbs, etc. are not. 

The Structure of Words

A number of structure words have both weak and strong pronunciation. As a rule, the structure will take the weak pronunciation which means that the vowel becomes muted. For example, take a look at these sentences:

I can play piano.

Tom is from New England.

Here are these two sentences with accented words in italics.

Mary can play piano.

Tom is from Chicago.

‘Can’, and ‘from’ and ‘is’ are unaccented and the vowel is very weak. This weak vowel sound is often referred to as a schwa. In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) the schwa is represented as an upside-down ‘e’. It is, however, also possible to use these words with a strong form. Take a look at the same structure words, but used with strong pronunciation:

You CAN’T play tennis. – Yes, I CAN.

Where is Tom FROM?

In these two sentences, the placement at the end of the sentence calls for the strong pronunciation of the word. In other cases, the usually unaccented word becomes accented as a means of stressing that something is contrary to what is understood by others. Look at these two sentences in a dialogue.

You aren’t interested in coming next week, are you?

Yes, I AM interested in coming!

Try the following exercise to practice both the weak and strong form. Write two sentences: One sentence using the weak form, and one using the strong form. Try practicing these sentences taking care to quickly glide over the vowel in the weak form, or pronouncing the vowel or diphthong sound firmly in the strong form. Here are a few examples:

I’ve heard you have a company in the city. No, I work FOR a company in the city.

What are you looking for?

She is our sister.

OUR sister is so talented!

Practice Activity

Decide how the word indicated would change the meaning in the following sentences when using the strong form. Practice saying each sentence aloud alternating between weak and strong forms. Do you notice how the meaning changes through stress?

I am an English teacher in Portland, Oregon. – strong ‘am’

I am an English teacher from Portland, Oregon. – strong ‘from’

He said that she should see a doctor. – strong ‘should’

They were able to find a job despite the difficult market. – strong ‘were’

Do you know where he comes from? – strong ‘do’

I’ll give the assignment to them. – strong ‘them’

She’s one of our most valued students. – strong ‘our’

I’d like Tom and Andy to come to the party. – strong ‘and’


I AM an English teacher … = It’s true even though you don’t believe it.

…. teacher FROM Portland, Oregon. = That’s my home city, but not necessarily where I live and teach now. 

They WERE able to find a job … = It was possible for them though you think not.

DO you know where … = Do you know the answer to this question or not?

… the assignment to THEM. = Not you, the others.

She’s one of OUR most valued students. = She is one of us, not of you or them.

… Tom AND Andy … = Not only Tom, don’t forget Andy.

Here are some of the most common words that have weak/strong pronunciations. Generally speaking, use the week form (schwa) pronunciation of these words unless they are stressed by coming at the end of a sentence or due to unnatural stress made to facilitate understanding. 

Common Weak and Strong Words

a / am / an / and / are / as / at

be / been / but

can / could

do / does

for / from

had / has / have / he / her / him / his




of / our

shall / she / should / some

than / that / the / them / there / to


was / we / were / who / would / will

you / your

Learning To Use Strong And Weak Forms In Pronunciation

Angle Heart, a Facebook Page fan, requested more information about strong and weak forms. This is so easy to teach in person, and so hard to write about, because strong and weak forms are about sounds, not written words.

You’ll find lots of lessons on the internet describing when to use a strong form and when to use a weak form. I think they’re usually written by English speakers who hope to describe all the forms and generalize them into “rules”.

Perhaps the problem lies, in part, in the terms we use: “strong” and “weak” They really aren’t forms. To my mind, they might be better described as dynamics or strategies, because in English they’re adjustable.

The sound of English relies on contrasts in sound. We create contrasts in our speaking that act like sign-posts, I call them “soundposts” ©™, which signal to the listener what they should pay close attention to and remember, versus what they should hear and understand but not remember as notable. There are at least 5 ways we make adjustments to create clear contrasts of strong and weak sounds:


The vowels in beat, bit, bet, but, boot, bat, bite, bait, bought, and boat all require careful articulation, because the vowels are the only thing that makes these words different. Each word has a different meaning, and each is only different from the other because of its vowel sound. For the sake of your listener, you must make each of these vowels clear enough to be recognized.

But the role of vowels in a multi-syllable word e.g. “accident” is to help create contrast between syllables. This word has a particular soundprint©™ (like a footprint in wet sand, its shape is obvious to our ear); it has a strongly stressed first syllable [aek] in which the vowel must be clear, followed by the second, less-stressed syllable [s?], in which the vowel /i/ is weakened to a schwa; and in the third syllable, the vowel /e/ seems to disappear completely from the sound [dnt]. This creates acoustic contrast: Clear First Syllable vs. Fuzzy Second and Third. Strong First Syllable vs. Weak Second and Third.Stressed First Syllable vs. Unstressed Second and Third.

Remember-this is spoken English, not written English. Native English speakers learn to adjust the contrast of syllables long before they learn to read and write. They learn the tools to signal changes in their messages, that signal importance. These sound signals, or sound-posts©™ as I call them, , are the way we organize our messages for our listeners, when there is no printed word to be read and referenced.


We usually stretch the vowel out longer in a stressed syllable. Look at the word accident again: although the first syllable only has two sounds, [ae, k], it is given a longer duration than either of the following syllables. By stretching it out, and shortening the unstressed syllables, we hear the word’s soundprint©™-it’s characteristic sound shape. When we shorten the unstressed syllables, we often swallow some of the sounds.


We pitch a word or syllable higher if we want to stress it, and we pitch it lower if we want to downplay or weaken it. In the word accident, the first syllable is on a higher pitch than the others. There is a wave to the sound that starts higher and ends lower. This frequent, specific pitch adjustment is difficult for Spanish speakers.


The same is true for volume. We increase the volume or energy of our voice on the first syllable of accident, and lower the volume or energy on the following syllables.

This contrast-building happens at every level of sound in English:

we have strong vowels and weak vowels: we even change strong vowels to make them weaker, if they occur in unstressed syllables of words. This is why you have to study about the schwa. We change vowels that are too strong to schwa or short I if they occur in an unstressed syllable of a word.

we have strong consonants that we keep strong in stressed syllables of words, but we downplay those same consonants when they occur in unstressed syllables of words

we create strong and weak syllables: we stress one or two syllables but downplay the others, depending on the word

we create strong and weak words: we stress new or critical information in a sentence, and downplay the known information or the grammatical markers

we create strong and weak sentences: we stress ideas that introduce and develop our topic, and downplay those statements that merely carry the topic forward without anything new or remarkable.

I’ve spent most of this post talking about vowels, consonants, and syllables because few teachers try to explain strong vs. weak at the pronunciation level, but keep in mind these ideas about “soundprints” and “soundposts” as you look at other material on the internet. We make contrasts using pitch, duration, clarity, volume, and energy.

I hope I haven’t made this harder to understand. It’s not as complex or complicated as you might think. If you have questions, or I can clarify in some way, please ask. I would appreciate your thoughts and feedback, because I’ll be publishing all of this in the near future. Any suggestions or requests would be welcome!

Finally, I came across this question on a forum asking whether to use strong and weak forms when reading a text; quite a few people responded.

Strong And Weak Forms With Examples


Pronunciation is not based on spelling. Language is primarily an oral phenomenon and in many respects (but not in every respect) the written form can be considered as a kind of representation of the spoken. Ideally the spelling system should closely reflect pronunciation and in many language that indeed is the case. But unfortunately this is not the case in English, the nature of the problem is twofold. Firstly each sound of English is represented by more than one written letter or by sequence of letters; and secondly, any letter of English represents more than one sound or it may not represent any sound at all.

Use of weak forms promote fluency which is an important feature of spoken language.

Daniel Jones writes:

“One of the most striking features of English pronunciation is the phenomenon known as ‘gradation’. By gradation is meant the existence in many common English words of two or more pronunciations, a strong form and one or more weak forms, weak forms occur only in unstressed positions; strong forms are used chiefly when the word is stressed, but they also occur in unstressed positions”.

While giving information about accented and unaccented syllables J. D.O’ Connor writes.

“Syllables which are not stressed often contain in the vowel/ /instead of any clear vowel, and this vowel / / only occurs in unstressed syllables, never in stressed ones”. (1992-91).

Connected speech has its own rules and imposes many changes on the separate words that it is made up of. Every utterance is a continuous, changing pattern of sound quality with associated features of quality, pitch, and stress. In connected speech a word is subject to the pressures of its sound environment or of the accentual rhythmic group of which it forms part. Such variations my affect the word as a whole, e.g. weak forms in an unaccented situation or word accentual patterns within the larger rhythmic pattern of complete utterance; or may affect more particularly the sounds used at word boundaries, such changes involving a consideration of the features of morphemes and word junctures, junctural assimilation, elision and liaison forms.

World Classes and Weak forms

In the sentence,

‘ I have a good book’.

Features of Weak Forms

The extent of variation in weak forms depends largely upon speed of utterance, the slower and more careful the delivery the greater the tendency to preserve a form nearer to that of the isolate word i.e. the strong form.

Weak form have one of the following prominent features.

Reduction in the length of sound.

Obscuration of vowels towards / /

Elision of vowels and consonants.

In such cases it is generally found that the weak form has / / where the strong form has some other vowel.


Strong form weak form or one of the weak form Illustration of weak form


In certain contexts the strong forms of the weak forms words are used.

The strong forms is used when a weak form word occurs at the end of a sentence. Where are you from? Many weak form words never occur at the end of a sentence e.g. the, your, etc. some words particularly certain pronouns occur in their weak forms in final position.

A strong form is used when a weak form word is contrasted with another word e.g. The letter’s from him, not to him. Same is the case in co-ordinated use of prepositions e.g. I travel to and from London a lot.

A strong form is used when a weak form word in given stress for the purpose of emphasis,e.g. You must give him more money.

A strong form is used when a weak form word is ‘quoted’ or ‘cited’, e.g. You shouldn’t put ‘and’ at the end of a sentence.

Another point to remember is that when a weak form word whose spelling begins with ‘h’ e.g. ‘her’, ‘have’. Occurs at the beginning of a sentence, the pronunciation is with initial ‘h’ even thought this is usually omitted in other contexts.

Contractions and Weak Forms

A contraction is a shortened form used either in speech or in writing. In speech some words combine together to form contractions. These are represented in writing that reproduce spoken language (e.g. drama, direct speech in novels, short stories), by omitting one or two letters and replacing the letters that are omitted by an apostrophic (‘).

In speech there is an area of overlap between weak forms and contractions. Weak forms (e.g. the weak forms of be and have) are used throughout connected speech in close proximity to a wide range of vocabulary. When personal pronouns are combined with the auxiliary verb be and have, the auxiliaries take their weak forms. These are spoken as weak forms and may be written as contractions e.g. ‘she has’ -‘she’s, ‘they have-‘they’ve.


The proper use of weak forms is essential for a correct pronunciation of English, and is on of the most difficult features of English pronunciation for foreigners to acquire. Foreign people generally have an almost irresistible tendency to use strong forms in their place.

It is possible to use strong forms only and some foreign learners do this. Usually they can still be understood by other speakers of English so that question arises why is it important to a learn how weak forms are used? There are two main reasons.

Most native speakers of English find an ‘all strong form’ pronunciation unnatural and foreign sounding.

The second and most important reason is that the speakers who are not familiar with the use of weak forms find it difficult to understand speakers who use weak forms. So it becomes compulsory from practical point of view to learn weak forms.

Teaching programmes must include this feature in their curricula and foreign learner can help themselves by paying more attention to their listening skills. Exposure to native speakers speech helps in improving the pronunciation. Correct use of weak forms can also be acquired by continual reading of phonetic transcription. In a few cases there are rules which help the learner.

Hubbard Peter et al (1983), A Training Course For TEFL, Oxford University Press.

Jones Daniel (1976) A outline of English Phonetics, Cambridge University Pres.

Gimson A. C. (1980). An Introduction to the Pronunciation of English.

Revised by Crittenden Alan (1994). Gimson’s Pronunciation of English.

Roach Peter English Phonetics and Phonetics and Phonodgy.

Saifullah M. Main An Approach to the study of Linguistics.

Interpretation of Communication with Example

Hate Is A Strong Word; Meaning Of “Strong Word”?


What is the meaning of “strong word” in the following sentences? My understanding of the expression is the following: if a word is strong, it will have a great effect on people’s feelings or thoughts, it is a powerful word, it will have a great effect on someone. Is my understanding of the expression correct? Also, can you give me a better definition of the expression.

1. Mike: I hate my father. Greg: hate is a strong word.

2. You shouldn’t tell people they are ugly, ugly is a strong word.

3, A teacher should never tell his students that they are stupid, stupid is a strong word and telling students they are stupid will hurt their feelings.

4. Even is she is fat, it’s not nice to tell her she is fat. Fat is a strong word.

Yes, you’re completely right.. A strong word is that one leaving a great impact on others. In English we have strong words and mild ones. A mild word is a word that you can use in many different occasions without worrying that it may upset or bother someone. All the four examples that you’ve just given seem fine to me; I would use the ”strong word” expression in the same sentences that you wrote up there. Sometimes a strong word can be considered offensive but there’s still that fine line between strong words and offensiveness so definitely it’s not like ”swearing”.

yes, you understand the meaning of strong in that use. Strong as in severe, harsh, perhaps excessive. Extreme in meaning.

“I hate my mom”. “That is a bit extreme, you don’t really mean that”

Sort of means when something is said in terms of black and white when the reality is some shade of gray. Strong words do not leave much room for variation, for nuance, for shading the meaning.

I don’t particularly like the discouragement of the use of strong terms simply because they may cause hurt (as in number 3). Sometimes hurt is precisely what is required. Causing hurt is not the reason a teacher shouldn’t call someone stupid, it is because no student is really stupid and if they were, it would do no good to call them that anyway

I don’t consider fat a strong word. Disgustingly obese would be strong, harsh, excessive. Fat is simply the opposite of thin, and covers a wide range of conditions. Calling someone a PIG, or a COW, now maybe that would be a bit too strong.

And strong doesn’t always apply to negatives; calling someone brilliant or a genius could be too strong.

You sort of got it… Strong word can also mean it is an extreme ie using the term “morbidly obese” would make us think she’s bigger than saying she’s “fat” Hate is a strong word because it’s on the far end of the spectrum, it’s committed, and it leaves no room for doubt as to what you think. For instance if you say “I don’t like spinach.” it could mean “I love spinach.” “I dislike spinach” “I loathe spinach” or “I hate spinach”

Source(s): Just my take…

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A “strong word” (or phrase) is one that represents or evokes powerful emotions.

Such terms include love/hate, ugly/beautiful, brilliant/stupid, skinny/fat, live/die, rich/poor, as well as sex, fear, and political verbiage.

You have the correct understanding and definition of the phrase.

“Hate” has devolved into more of a dislike than anything. We should come up with a stronger word, perhaps di-hate?

Hate – have strong dislike of; bear malice to.

Ugly – unpleasing or repulsive to sight, morraly repulsive, vile, discreditable, unpleasant, unpleasantly suggestive, threatening, unpromising.

Stupid – in a state of stupor or lethargy; dull by nature, slow-witted, lacking in sensibility, obtuss, crass, characteristic of a person of this nature.

Fat – fed up for slaughter, fatted; well-fed,plump, corpulent, thick, substantial, greasy, oily, unctuous; slow witted, indolent.

Source(s): Oxford Concise Dictionary

Those words are all considered to some as having a negative connotation.

For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/1Mvxg

it means powerful. the entire sentence means that hate may be too intense (when used in this manner.) dislike would probably be better.

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