Grammar. 21.11.2013
Grammar Teacher

Англійська граматика: Emphasis

Автор: Grammar Teacher

Англійська граматика: EmphasisWhen we talk, we talk a lot =) and our listeners sometimes can’t understand which parts are the most important.

If I say:
- Do you want to talk to her?

I can mean these things:

  •  Do you WANT to talk to her? (що, правда хочеш?)
  •  Do YOU want to talk to her? (А ти хочеш поговорити?)
  •  Do you want to TALK to her? (що, тільки поговорити?)
  •  Do you want to talk to HER? (саме з нею?)

That’s why we need to STRESS our words. When we emphasize, or stress, some words, we make them sound more important.

Do you know how we can do that?

There are many different ways to make your words sound stronger:

  1. When talking. (Body language)
  2. When texting. (When you’re typing, use CAPS LOCK to show emotions)
  3. In a text. ( You can highlight/circle/underline when writing)
  4. Emphasizing verbs.


4.1 Use do and did to emphasize verbs in positive sentences:
A: You don’t like me!
B: I do like you! I love you!

When we use do/does and did to emphasize verbs, we use the infinitive after it. (no endings, no second forms of verbs)


4.2 To emphasize verbs, use really before the verb:
She really enjoys dancing.

4.3 use a lot/very much/so much at the end of the sentence to emphasize a verb:


  • She looks like her mom very much.
  •  I want to eat soooo much!
  •  He loves her a lot.

     5. Use such a + adjective + singular countable noun:
He’s such a great actor.

     6. Use such + adjective + plural noun:
He has such wonderful kids!

Англійська граматика: Emphasis - 2

     7. Start the sentence with “It is… that/which/who/whom” or “It was…    that/which/who/whom” to show the most important part of the sentence.

  • It is the new film that/which I want to watch!
  • It was her face that/which got his attention.
  • It’s that guy who I want to talk to.

8. You can put words in front of the sentence to emphasize them:
- He slowly opened the present.
- Slowly, he opened the present.

The second sentence makes the reader pay attention to the way he opened the present.

9. Start with an introductory phrase to catch the reader’s attention.

  • One must highlight One must emphasize One must underline One must bring attention to / you must draw your attention to
  • in particular.... / especially
  • Surprisingly…
  • Astonishingly…
  • Unfortunately…

One must bring attention to the fact that the laptops were stolen!

10. Repeat words to make them sound more important:
a. The room was very, very messy.
b. I wanted to see him so, so much!

But sometimes, this can lead to this:


11. Use special words before adjectives to emphasize them:
  • Very
  • So
  • Extremely
  •  Really
  • Simply
  • Literally
That book was soooo long.
It was really boring, too.

12. A splash of color really adds emphasis!

13. Use special words to emphasize questions:
  • Where the hell were you?
  • What the heck did you do?
  • Who on Earth did you go with?

Here are some must-know emphasis collocations:
  •  A total disaster
  • Extremely good
  • A terrible mistake
  • Much cheaper
  • One hundred percent certain
  • Highly competitive
  • Fully aware
  • Far too expensive
  • Even better
  • Absolutely no chance

The morning was extremely good, and I was 100% certain that the day would be even better. However, I made a terrible mistake and after that everything became a total disaster!

Here are some more examples:

Now try to emphasize these sentences:
  1. She is pretty.
  2.  I want to watch a film with Sandra Bullock.
  3.  I did my homework.
  4.  I like orange juice.

Англійська граматика: Emphasis - 3Here are some more exercises:
2. Put in order
3. Match:

Good luck! =)
Thanks for reading!

Ми розглянули правила та приклади використання акцентів на певних словах в англійській мові. Щоб дізнатися більше про англійську граматику, читайте інші публікації в розділі Grammar!
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