You may be wondering…..
Why do I have an accent when I speak American English?
Let’s talk about that!
There are a number of features that contribute to accented speech.
Over the next few days I’ll describe 5 features that are causing you to speak American English with a foreign accent.
#1 Syllable Stress
Feature #1 is syllable stress.
This one is really important.
That’s why it’s first on my list.
American English has rules that determine which syllable is stressed in a word.
The vowel in the stressed syllable gets extra attention. That vowel is lengthened ➜ and emphasized using a slightly higher pitch.
Two common rules for syllable stress
Here are 2 very common rules for American English syllable stress:
1. Two syllable verbs are usually stressed on the second syllable.
2. Phrasal verbs are always stressed on the second syllable.
- work ou➝t
- hand i➝n
- go o→ver
- print ou➝t
You must know and follow these rules
If you want to speak with a more American accent, you simply must apply these syllable stress rules.
If you don’t stress syllables the way native speakers do, it contributes significantly to your accent!
Who needs to learn to use syllable stress?
Indian English speakers, Japanese speakers, Chinese speakers, Turkish speakers, French speakers & Spanish speakers all need to learn the rules for American English syllable stress in order to improve their American accents.
Make noticeable changes
Learning to use the correct syllable stress patterns is absolutely one of the BEST ways to make noticeable changes to the way you speak American English.
Syllable stress video lessons
Here’s one of my syllable stress video lessons.
Take a look and you’ll start to understand what I mean by syllable stress.
I can show you how
To find a more complete lesson on why you speak American English with an accent follow the link below.
You’ll find a detailed lesson that you can download at my training programs website.
About the author
Susan Ryan is an American English communication and accent reduction coach.