Syntaxis Sanctums

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English Vocabulary

This section will begin our lessons on English vocabulary.

We have a game of "Hangman" where you must guess the letters of the hidden English word. Type a character that you think may be in the word. If you are correct the letter will appear in the hidden word.  If you are incorrect it will appear in your "Garbage Bin" and a portion of the gallows will appear in the window. If you make too many incorrect guesses you will hang the stick-man and lose the game. After you have won you may click "learn this word" for a definition of the word.



Emphasis in English

The use of emphasis, or word stress, is a very important part of properly understanding and using the English language.  When we say that a word is emphasized, or stressed, it means that the word or several words, are spoken in such a way as to show their importance in a sentence.

This stress relationship is not indicated in written English and must be heard to be fully understood. If you cannot detect the stressed words in a phrase you may have difficulty understanding a conversation. Likewise if you cannot determine which words to stress when speaking you maybe misunderstood or potentially say something different than you intended to.


The follow exercise will help you to listen for emphasis and also to see how it can change the meaning of a sentence. 



Emphasis Lesson


* If you have enabled translation of this page from English to your language please revert the page to English to read the phrases properly, or download the lesson here. *


Today’s English lesson deals with word emphasis.  In English word emphasis displays specific information about what you are talking about.  Placing the emphasis on the wrong word can, and almost always will, change the meaning of the phrase.  Emphasis is not visible in the written word, and must be understood through context (or as we say in English “reading between the lines”), but for the purposes of this lesson it will be shown by italicization and the color green


Each of the following sentences are written exactly the same yet they are spoken differently and have a different meaning.  Read each sentence and listen to the audio recordings.  After you have been able to pick out the difference in the emphases, read the explanation of how each phrase differs.


1)      A catastrophic meteor impact could cause extinction to more than just large land animals. 

 Listen the the Audio. * Note that there is no stress or emphasis in this sentence.

2)      A catastrophic meteor impact could cause extinction to more than just large land animals. 

  Listen to the Audio.

3)      A catastrophic meteor impact could cause extinction to more than just large land animals

 Listen to the Audio.

4)      A catastrophic meteor impact could cause extinction to more than just large land animals. 

 Listen to the Audio.


In phrase № 2 emphasis on the word “large” would imply that extinction may happen to smaller animals.

In phrase № 3 emphasis on the word “animals” would imply something other than animals being affected.  Other things could be plants, fungi, or microorganisms.

In phrase № 4 emphasis on the word “land” would imply that large animals that do not live on land such as whales that live in a marine environment could also go extinct.


Word Pronunciation

Listed here are some words which newcomers to English may find more difficult, and some of them are just large and difficult words. More to come in the future, so stay tuned!

 Miscellaneous Words: complicated, conscientious, delicious, Edinburgh, favorite, spontaneously, statistician, unidentified

 Numbers: sixth (6th), seventh (7th)ninth (9th), seventieth (70th)

 Compare (best not to confuse these words): Beach / Bitch

 Big Words: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis,  antidisestablishmentarianism,