IELTS Speaking Test (L4)- Pronunciation, Word-stress & Intonation

In this English lesson, you are going to learn some tips and tricks to achieve a better band score in the Pronunciation criteria of the IELTS Speaking Test. This criterion focuses on the accuracy and variety of pronunciation features which includes word stress, sentence stress & intonation. Look for the other three criterions in my other IELTS videos below.

IELTS Speaking test explained – FAQs & Know-how – How to get high score/band?
IELTS speaking test – Part 01 – Fluency and Coherence
IELTS speaking test – Part 02 – Lexical Resource –
IELTS Speaking Test (L3) – Grammar Range & Accuracy


A. The meaning of Syllable: A syllable is a part of a word that contains a vowel sound and is pronounced as a unit.

Cho-co-late = 3

  • Different =3
  • Documentary= 5
  • Fashionable = 4
  • Favorite = 3
  • Millionaire =4

Meaning of Word Stress – In every word there is one stressed syllable which affects pronunciation if you stress the wrong syllable the listener cannot understand.




SUREFIRE TIP: My suggestion is please refer to a dictionary to confirm the correct word stress if you are unsure.



  1. Meaning: With sentence stress in English, we give stress to certain words while other words are quickly spoken. For instance, some words in a sentence are emphasised or slightly louder than other words. This is the changing pitch of your voice.

For example I don’t wanna DRIVE, I’d rather use the BUS.

  1. Let’s try to understand the effect of sentence stress and intonation on meaning:
  2. Neutral = stress on the words in the middle.

Ex: William went FOR a walk.

Use: when we are thinking or concentrating.

  1. Rising tone = stress on last few words.

Ex: William went for A WALK.

Use: Often used when we are asking questions or seeking clarification, or to indicate surprise.

  1. Falling Tone = stress on first few words

Ex: WILLIAM WENT for a walk.

Use: When we are certain and confident or looking for agreement.


  1. 1. I think you’ve done a good job.
    Answer: certain
  2. I think you’ve DONE a good job.
    Answer: surprise
  3. I think YOU’VE did a good job.
    Answer: neutral (thinking)
  4. I THINK you’ve done a good job.
    Answer: agreement
  5. I think you’ve done a GOOD JOB.
    Answer: asking question/ clarification

If you have the same answers it’s brilliant however if you faltered I have another surefire tip for you.

SUREFIRE TIP: Listening to a variety of authentic English sources will help you become familiar with intonation and stress patterns of English. You can listen to the “BBC Radio” or “The Voice of America” in whatever subject interests you. Remember to use these pronunciation features flexibly and confidently. So that you’re effortless to understand throughout the test. Do watch my other IELTS Videos.





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