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Unit 49. He Will Win.

Introduction to Emphatic Stress

Unit 49; Part A

Short sentences have a typical sentence stress, or rhythm. (See Unit 23. ) For example:

He won't win!
oOO (The sentence has three syllables, and there is stress on the second and third.)
He'll win! oO (The sentence has two syllables and there is stress on the second.)

Unit 49; Part B

But in conversation, speakers can choose to put the stress in any place. This is like underlining words in writing: we do this to put emphasis on words. Here are the same two examples from A again, but this time they are in the context of a short conversation. Notice the way the speakers 'underline' some words.
   A: Hell win, you know.
   B: He won't win!
   A: He will win!

In this example, the speakers do not agree with each other. В 'underlines' won't to show that he is saying the opposite of what A said. Then A 'underlines' will for the same reason. Note that the written form also changes, from 'll to will.

Unit 49; Part C

To 'underline' a word, a speaker does one or more of these things: a makes it louder, b makes it longer, с makes it higher. Listen to this conversation. It shows the 'underlining' very clearly.

We emphasise words for example when we want to make a contrast with what the other person says, or correct some wrong information. (Units 50 to 53 give more detail on this.) 



flag.jpgWrite three different ways to disagree with each of A's sentences, and underline the words you would put emphasis on. Then listen, check and repeat.
Key.1. B: No, I finished first!
B: No, you didn't finish first!
B: No, you finished last!
2. B: No, you're stupid!
B: I'm not stupid!
B: No, I'm clever!


    A:  I'll win.
В:    No, I'll win   (opposite subject)
В:    You won't win   (negative)
B:    No, you'll lose   (word with opposite meaning)
1. A:  I finished first.
B:    No, ____________(opposite subject)
B:    No, you didn't ____________(negative)
B:    No, you ____________(word with opposite meaning)
2. A: You're stupid!     
B:    No, ____________(opposite subject)
B:    I'm ____________(negative)
B:    No, I'm ____________(word with opposite meaning)


flag.jpgRead this conversation. Guess which words the speakers will 'underline' for emphasis and underline them in the text. You are told which lines have no underlining. Then listen and check.
Key.A: I won't pass.
В: You will pass.
A: You'll pass.
B: I don't know.
A: You won't fail.
B: I might fail.
A: I will fail.
B: The exam's not hard.
A: It's very hard.
B: But not toо hard.
A: Too hard for me.
В: But you're very clever!
A: You're the clever one.
B: Yes, I suppose you're right.

Follow up: listen to the conversation again and repeat B's lines. Remember to 'pronounce the underlining'.

Unit 48      Unit 49     Unit 50 forward.jpg