Lesson 26 – Review

International Phonetic Alphabet

When are vowels long in American English? When are they short?


What are some differences between American and British English?


IPA transcription practice

Transcribe the IPA for the introduction to this video:


Syllables and word stress

How many syllables are in these words? Which syllables are stressed?

  • minus
  • come
  • electric
  • procrastination
  • dandelion
  • intelligence
  • imply
  • comfortable
  • satisfaction

Word blending


  • Consonant + vowel
  • Vowel + vowel
  • pbtdkg + consonant
  • Same sound + same sound

Give an example for each rule.

Sentence stress rules

Stressed words

  • noun
  • verb
  • adjective
  • number
  • adverb
  • wh-question word
  • some pronouns (demonstrative, reflexive)
  • single words

Multi-word stress rules

  • two nouns = first stressed
  • two-word verb = second stressed

Breaking the rules

  • For better rhythm
  • For comparison
  • For emphasis


Mark the stress in these sentences:

  • I bought a truck last week.
  • How do you climb out of this mess?
  • Hey, is that Bobbie Williams?


Sea Fever
by John Masefield

I ˈmust go down to the ˈseas again, to the ˈlonely sea and the ˈsky,
And ˈall I ask is a ˈtall ship and a ˈstar to steer her ˈby;
And the ˈwheel’s kick and the ˈwind’s song and the ˈwhite sail’s ˈshaking,
And a ˈgrey mist on the ˈsea’s face, and a ˈgrey dawn ˈbreaking.



Rising-falling intonation

  • Statements
  • Commands
  • Wh-questions


  • She’s a singer.
  • Open the door.
  • What is that for?


Rising intonation

  • Yes-no questions


  • Is this a potato?
  • Are you hot?


Non-final intonation


  • Now ˈthat is the biggest fish I’ve ˈever seen in my ˈlife.


  • I think the blue one is better than the red one.

Two part sentences

  • I want to, but I have to do my homework.
  • If it’s what you want, then I’ll do it.


And/Or series

  • I’ve got a mom, a dad, and two aunts.
  • There’s a frog, a bat, and a turtle.


Or questions

Is the apple red or green?


Direct address

  • Good morning, Mr. Smith.

Tag questions



  • Will you drive to the office tomorrow?


  • I put my red shirt on the table.


Final exam – Part 1 (20%)

Mark the stress, word blending and intonation in the given sentences.

  • Follow the basic stress rules (don’t worry about exceptions to the rules)
  • Follow the basic word blending rules (/w/, /j/ as semi-vowels don’t matter)
  • Only use rising-falling and rising intonation (no focus, non-final, or others)

This is a take home, open book exam. You may ask people for help.

Part 1 sentences:

  1. I’m happy to meet you.
  2. My name is Bob Smith.
  3. Excuse me.
  4. Whose family are you in?
  5. I was recently asked to represent my company at an international meeting.
  6. Would you be willing to pick up Mr. Jones at the train station?
  7. That’s great!
  8. Could I possibly ask you to help me?
  9. Did you remember to feed the dog?
  10. I guess I should go and do it.
  11. Have you heard the news?
  12. Would you mind ordering me a sandwich?
  13. I don’t like rock concerts.
  14. Please say it again.
  15. I really like your car.

Final exam – Part 2 (80%)

Read the dialog. I will be paying attention to

  • stress
  • word blending
  • intonation
  • IPA pronunciation
  • rhythm


The Music Speed Changer app is useful for carefully listening to audio files:


Advice for continued learning

  1. If you haven’t mastered the basic IPA for American English yet, keep practicing on the ae Pronunciation app until you have.
  2. Do lots and lots of listening. That’s the only way you are going to truly improve your pronunciation.
  3. Keep doing IPA, stress, word blending, and intonation dictation. This will help you to notice subtleties in the language.
  4. Go on to study linguistics in depth.

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