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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to The Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide.
In this lesson, you'll learn about stress in Portuguese.
But what exactly is stress?
Stress refers to the prominence or relative emphasis placed on certain syllables of a word.
When you say the word "unbelievable" for example, do you notice how the "lie" is accentuated?
That's because it's pronounced longer and louder than any other syllable, and this is what we refer to as stress.
Stress is essential for proper pronunciation and communication in Portuguese because it determines the rhythm. With out it, it'll be very difficult for Portuguese speakers to communicate with you. It's absolutely essential that you learn all the proper stress rules.
There are a number of ways to determine where to place the stress in Portuguese.
The easiest indication of stress is to look for the accent markers. These two accent markers for example, indicates that a syllable is stressed.
"es-tá - (he/she/it/you) is/are
cen-té-si-mo - hundredth
á-gu-a - water"
"câ-me-ra - camera
es-sên-ci-a - essence
a-vô - grandfather"
If you encounter words that do *not* have an accent, then expect the stress to be on the second last syllable. Words ending in an M, S, or a vowel *other* than I or U, will follow this rule.
"fa-lam - (they) speak
co-mem - (they) eat"
"lu-zes - lights
so-nhos - dreams"
"au-to - self
ca-sa - house
cor-re - (he/she/you) run"
If the word doesn't follow any of the above rules, then the stress is on the *last* syllable.
"ven-di - (I) sold
ja-va-li - boar"
"hin-du - Hindu
can-gu-ru - kangaroo"
"fa-lar - to speak
a-nel - ring
a-ni-mal - animal"
By following this process, you'll be able to figure out where the stress is for 95% of words in Portuguese.
If you happen to forget the rules however, the general principle is to place the stress on the *second last* syllable. Most Portuguese words fall into this category, so there's a good chance that you'll get it right.
Now you know all the stress rules. So let's practice them!
Where should the stress be placed in this word?
código - code
Did you get it right? The stress is on the first syllable. The acute accent should've been a dead give away!
Here's the next one.
jogam - (they) play
Since this word ends with an M, the stress should be on the second last syllable, which in this case happens to be the first syllable.
Okay. Last one!
urubu - vulture
This word ends with the vowel U. Meaning the stress should be on the last syllable.
In this lesson, you learned about stress and accentuation in Portuguese
In the next lesson, we'll learn about assimilation in Portuguese.
How did you do in the quiz? Let us know in the comments.
See you in the next Ultimate Portuguese Pronunciation Guide lesson!