I’m struggling to understand the sentence stress in the following sentences:
- Why don’t we watch a comedy film? I’m pretty sure that ‘don’t’, ‘watch’, ‘comedy’, and ‘film’ are stressed; why is a wh-question so it should be stressed as well, but when i repeat the sentence in my mind it sounds very odd. Any opinion?
- Let’s watch a horror film. Again, I’m pretty sure that ‘watch’, ‘horror’, and ‘film’ are stressed; is ‘let’s’ a modal or an auxiliary in this case? Anyway, I reckon it’s unstressed, correct?
- Shall we have lunch together today? ‘lunch’, ‘together’, and ‘today’ are stressed; ‘shall’ is a modal auxiliary, so it doesn’t. ‘have’ is the main/lexical verb so it should be stressed but, again, when i repeat the sentence in my mind it sounds very odd. what do you think?
- We could meet in the lobby at noon. The stress is on ‘meet’, ‘lobby’ and ‘noon’. ‘could’ is unstressed. Correct?
- How about eating something? ‘eating’ and ‘something’ are stressed. How is a wh-question, so it should be stressed but according to this resource (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnJCKda4oWU&list=WL&index=3&t=142s), it is not. What’s the correct sentence stress?
Thanks for helping!
Spoken stress is about emphasis:
He: Of course it's a drama. We never watch a comedy film. She: WHY don't we watch a comedy film? Or, She: Why DON'T we watch a comedy film?
Both of the above “she” sentences have the same import.
He: The Joneses watch a lot of comedy films. She: Why don't WE watch a comedy film? He: I'm in a bad mood. She: Why don't we watch a COMEDY film?
I don’t hear “watch” being stressed except when there is nothing else to stress, in which case the neutral default of (very slightly) stressing the verb would apply. Here’s more.