7 December: The stress of language-speaking



Discussion point: “English is the most tonal of all European languages.”

The Swede could make a similar claim, but they do it in a slightly different way in their language. Anyway, let’s keep it simple…


Try saying this sentence out loud:

“I’m going to London on the train tomorrow.”

Now try stressing a different word each time.

If you stress “I” then it sounds like you are, but someone else isn’t.

If you stress “am” then it sounds like it had been in doubt.

If you stress “going” then it sounds like you might hitch-hike back again.

If you stress “London” then it sounds like you might have been expected to go somewhere else.

If you stress “train” then it sounds like you might normally go by bike.

If you stress “tomorrow” then it sounds like you were expected to go today.


What a lot of different stresses.

What about the language you are learning? You can't really use the above technique in the same way. Have you ever thought about how to place emphasis on different parts of the sentence?



At SameSky we are passionate not just about languages, but about language itself. There are some concepts that crop up whichever language you have chosen to learn. If you share this interest and would like to enrol on a course, please contact us via this link

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