Best Accent Reduction Technique-Use Syllable Stress

Best Accent Reduction Technique-Use Syllable Stress

The best accent reduction technique

The best accent reduction technique

Since 2007, I’ve helped hundreds of people reduce their accents and speak American English in a way that sounds

  • clear
  • correct
  • easy to listen to

While there’s no magic formula for success….

I know that using syllable stress correctly is one of the very best accent reduction techniques for clear speech.

Why is it important to use the correct syllable stress?

Using the correct syllable stress is important.

In fact, using the correct syllable stress is critical

That’s because Americans rely on hearing the correct syllable stress pattern in order to identify words.

In other words, if you stress a word on the wrong syllable, Americans will struggle to understand you.

What is syllable stress?

In spoken American English one syllable in a word always receives strong stress or emphasis.

The stressed syllable is emphasized

  • using extra length
  • using extra pitch

When the American listener hears a word stressed on the correct syllable, they understand it.

When the American listener hears a word stressed on the wrong syllable, they’ll struggle to understand it.

Syllable stress rules

If you’re like the people who I coach, you’re now asking

What are the rules for syllable stress?

There are lots of rules for syllable stress. I can’t explain them all in this post.

But here’s the easiest rule to remember.

90% of two syllable English nouns are stressed on the first syllable

That means that you should pronounce words like

  • PRO→cess
  • CON→tent
  • OFF➝ice

….with strong emphasis on the first syllable. When you do that, Americans will understand you right away.

Clear & comprehensible American speech

Now you understand that using the correct syllable stress is critical if you want to speak English in a way that Americans will understand.

I teach you the rules

I teach you the rules for using syllable stress correctly in my American Accent Master Class. Go to Lesson 1.7 to learn 10 syllable stress rules for clear communication.

Stop making mistakes when you speak American English. Take this valuable trial lesson for free today.

About the author

Susan Ryan is an American English communication and accent reduction coach.

Contact her with your questions about clear American speech.