Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 3 weeks ago

Iambic Pentameter?

I am having extreme trouble understanding stressed vs unstressed syllables in a word? Is there any way to very simply explain it?

10 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago

    "Record" is two words.  It's a noun if you don't put stress on the syllables.  It's a verb if you stress the second syllable.   You reCORD a record.  The word "ponder" has stress on the first syllable.  Example:  "While I PONdered, weak and weary".

  • 3 weeks ago

    I never used to believe a native speaker could genuinely not 'hear' stress in any word of more than one syllable, until I met a young woman on my TEFL training course who was in total despair because she Could Not Hear which syllable in 'chicken' was stressed. We all clustered round saying 'Nonsense' and 'You're kidding' but eventually we believed her.

    'CHICK - en' we chorused at her. 'I don't get it' she wept.

    In  the end we just had to accept she had a very, very rare hearing/comprehension problem. To my knowledge she's still teaching, but she has to stop and think very hard before teaching stress.

    So, the question is, do YOU hear the stress on the first syllable of 'chicken'? If you don't, I can't help you ...

  • Lôn
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Take the word 'hunting'...the stress is on the hunt.


    Achievement...the stress is in the chieve...


  • Cara
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    ... a FIG, a PEAR, a PLUM, a PEACH, a GRAPE. Say that, and you've said an iambic pentameter.

    Edited to say: Thump your fist on the table on those words in capital letters. Those are the stressed syllables.

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    If you speak English you use stressed and unstressed syllables all the time. In any word of two or more syllables, one syllable is stressed, usually by being said slightly louder. Consider the different ways "content" is pronounced in "I am content with that content." Even in a series of one-syllable words, certain words are stressed.

    A line of poetry can be divided into feet, which consist of two or three syllables. An iamb contains two syllables, with the second stressed. Pentameter means there are five feet in a line. Here is a line of iambic pentatmeter from the classic "The Girl Can't Help It" by Little Richard. "The GIRL can't HELP it SHE was BORN to PLEASE."

  • KatieC
    Lv 4
    3 weeks ago

    Think of it the same way you would think of music. If you listen to a song and clap on beat, that beat is like a stressed syllable. The “in between” is unstressed. When you’re Reading/ writing poetry you keep a beat of syllables in the same way. don’t know if that will make sense, but it’s a different way of thinking about it.

  • 3 weeks ago

    This is not iambic pentameter. But consider the following instruction to students of English as a second language: How to pronounce English.


    You see and pronounce stressed and unstressed syllables.

  • Nancy
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    Say a word with more than one syllable, like "iambic."

    Do you pronounce it "I-am-bic," "i-AM-bic," or "i-am-BIC"?  

    You pronounce it "i-AM-bic."  The second syllable is stressed.  That makes the word "iambic" actually iambic in meter.

    If you have difficulty knowing what syllable takes stress, takes emphasis, just look in a dictionary.  Dictionaries always show you what syllable is stressed.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Tears or laughter

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