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Speaking tips: Which words do I stress?

09/02/10

origin: Speaking tips: Which words do I stress? (http://toefl.jumbotests.com)

In order to score the higest marks possible in the TOEFL speaking section you will need to make your speech as natural as possible. Sentence stress has a big impact on how natural your speech sounds; think of stress as providing the rhythm of your sentence. If you stress the wrong words, your speech, while grammatically sound, will come out sounding awkward. But how do you know which worlds you should be stressing?
Here’s a quick breakdown:
There are basically two types of words that make up a sentence; content words, and function words. As the name suggestions, content words provide the content (or, the important bits) of your sentence, while function words string them together. If you’re unsure of wheter a word is a content or function word, try this rule of thumb. If a word can be removed from the sentence, and the sentence can still be logically understood it is a function word; if the word cannot, it’s a content word.
Click here for even more information, plus examples of content and fuction words.

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