Get your rhythm right

Sentence Stress

PREMESSA: Se il ruolo di STRESS e di WEAK FORMS nell’inglese parlato ti è sconosciuto o non del tutto chiaro, converrebbe leggere i relativi articoli prima di cimentarti in questo esercizio.

L’inglese, più che molte altre lingue, è una lingua che si basa fortemente sull’utilizzo corretto di stress e delle conseguenti weak forms; una caratteristica che dà all’inglese parlato il suo ritmo e la sua musicalità.

Quello che segue è un semplice esercizio di tipo “ascolta e ripeti” creato per evidenziare come questo ritmo nasce all’interno di una frase. L’esercizio parte da frasi brevissime dove il ritmo deve ancora nascere e arriva a frasi più lunghe dove il gioco tra stress e weak forms è molto più evidente con il conseguente ritmo e musicalità.

L’idea è quella di ripetere queste frasi prima con il testo davanti, uno o più volte, e poi senza testo, solo ascoltando e ripetendo (anche quando viaggi in macchina o mentre stiri). Questo tipo di ripetizione dovrebbe aiutare nel tempo a rendere sempre più istintivo e naturale il suono del tuo inglese.

Per chi se lo chiede, ho scelto di usare solo delle parole monosillabiche in modo da focalizzare l’attenzione esclusivamente sulla questione ritmica e in modo da facilitare la partecipazione anche a chi è ancora alle prime armi.

Ascolta e Ripeti

2 syllables

BlackDot  RedDot

You’re right.

It’s late.

They’re French.

She’s gone.

RedDot   BlackDot

Try it.

Tell her.

Buy some.

Call him.

3 syllables

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot

I want some.

They stopped her.

He knows you.

She lost it.

BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

It’s a joke.

You can stay.

She’s my friend.

They should go.

RedDot   BlackDot   redDot

Turn it off.

Let me go.

Put them down.

Take the bus.

4 syllables

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   “RedDot

His train was late.

They come from York.

He knows you’re here.

Her friends are nice.

RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot

Take your coat off.

Let the dog out.

Buy a big one.

Switch the light on.

RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

Give him a chance.

What did you say?

Tell them to go.

Where has she gone?

5 syllables

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   “RedDot   BlackDot

I’ve bought a new one.

She’d like to meet him.

He took my tooth out.

That’s all I told them.

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   “RedDot

The plane was on time.

She went on her own.

His mum is my aunt.

A leap in the dark.

BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   “RedDot

He was born in Rome.

You can buy some here.

It was time to leave.

There were lots of games.

RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot  BlackDot

Tell them to watch it.

Where do you keep them?

Some of us know him.

Who do you work for?

RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

Put it in the bag.

Some of them are good.

What was in the box?

How can you be sure?

6 syllables

BlackDot   “RedDot   “BlackDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   “RedDot

I think he’s in the pub.

We heard it on the news.

It’s time for us to go.

She knows a bit of French.

BlackDot   “BlackDot   “RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   “RedDot

There’s a fly in my soup.

They must wait in the hall.

You’ve got mud on your shoes.

We can start after lunch.

BlackDot   “BlackDot   “BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   “RedDot

It was a kind of fish.

He’s in the house next door.

We had a lot of fun.

I could have sworn they knew.

RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

Take the kids to the sea.

Put some salt in the sauce.

Clare has gone to the shops.

Leave your bags in the hall.

RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot

How does he know your name?

Don’t let them stay all night.

What do you think of this?

Try to be nice to Tom.

7 syllables

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot

I’m not in the mood for games.

We felt it was time to go.

The lights were on in the hall.

I know she’s one of your friends.

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

We need to know where he went.

He threw his arms in the air.

The girls are still on the boat.

We tried to buy some more wine.

BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot

It was time for Tom to eat.

You must learn to sing in tune.

Would you like a game of chess?

You can see the town from here.

BlackDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

I’ve got a pain in my back.

I was in time for the match.

There was a fly on the wall.

You should have told him the truth.

RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

Wait at the top of the stairs.

Find me a house by the lake.

Please be as quick as you can.

Give her a piece of your cake.

8 syllables

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

The show was a bit of a flop.

She knows what to do if he calls.

His house was on top of a hill.

He needs to be told what to do.

BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

Could you leave some milk for the cat?

In the spring the leaves are all green.

Do you know the name of that plant?

They can have a break if they want.

BlackDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot

I could have sworn his name was Bob.

There was a dog that barked all night.

You should have tried to change his mind.

She’s got a son who lives in Spain.

RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot

Come and see what the dog has done.

Let me know if it starts to rain.

Bob is tired and would like to rest.

Open the door when I give the word.

RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot

Keep to the path and don’t get lost.

Life on the ship was great at first.

Wait till you see what Tom has done.

Two of the crew were sick all night.

9 syllables

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

I know he can be hard on his kids.

My phone was on the chair in the hall.

He ran out of the room and was gone.

It’s nice of you to help when you can.

BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

We can stop for a bite on the way.

He’s got loads of old bikes in his shed.

It was late by the time we got home.

In a way I can see what he means.

BlackDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

She’s got an aunt who lives in the Bronx.

There was a piece of cheese on the floor.

I could have sworn he knew where they were.

It’s in a box on top of the fridge.

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot

She wants them to know where she comes from.

I can’t see a thing with the light off.

He told us to wait in the car park.

The nurse is on call if you need her.

BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot

I’ll speak to Claire when the time is right.

We got back home in the nick of time.

He lost the match but he did his best.

We’ll let you know if we need your help.

RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   RedDot   BlackDot   BlackDot   RedDot

Take what you want and give me the rest.

Most of the time we lay in the sun.

Some of the guests got caught in the storm.

Bob and his friends are still in the pool.

Your comments are always very welcome.


Author: Tony

Born and raised in Malaysia between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Educated at Wycliffe College in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, England. Living in the foothills of Mount Etna since 1982 and teaching English at Catania University since 1987.

4 thoughts on “Get your rhythm right”

  1. A great piece of work, Prof, thank you ever so much. I can remember when I made a lot of this workout every day, one thing that I recommend the most is to gather all the patterns that have some key words in common in all the possible combination, to be able to get use to them as soon as possible, and that way they’re also better recorded in your mind. Such as all the combination with”of” that in my opinion since it usually get shortened to a simple “schwa” is the one that everyone at the beginning misses the most.


      1. also “…it usually gets shortened to….” hahaha I still have got an “s” spelling problem!!!


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