A Funny Syllable Stress Error
I’ve heard people making this particular syllable stress error quite a few times…and it’s a funny one!
Here it is~
Yesterday I asked one of my accent reduction coaching clients to describe a situation where she has problems with communication.
She said to me~
Sometimes I hesitate to contribute at co➝mmittee meetings.
A t first this didn’t make sense…..at comedy meetings…WHAT?
and then I thought….OHHH, she’s not talking about comedy meetings, she’s talking about committee meetings.
Comedy or Committee?
I was momentarily confused, because she said co➝mmittee with stress on the first syllable.
That made it sound like comedy.
North Americans say committee with stress on the second syllable.
We always say commi➝ttee.
Syllable Stress Code
Here’s the word using the syllable stress code I mentioned in yesterday’s post. Again from Merriam Webster.
That tiny ˈ symbol before the second syllable means you need to stress it there.
In my American accent programs I use this symbol ➝ after the vowel in the stressed syllable because it’s easier to see and very effective for learning.
Listen to the correct pronunciation here~
Using the Correct Syllable Stress
Think carefully about how you currently say this word. Do you stress the first syllable or the second?
Using the correct syllable stress when you speak American English is CRITICAL!
As you can see from the above example….the way you stress a word will make a difference in how we natives will understand what you said.
Syllable Stress Errors Create Breakdowns in Communication
Don’t let syllable stress errors keep others from understanding what you said. Learn these critical rules so that YOU can be understood.
A small investment will pay off when you learn these important rules for clear American speech.