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Britlish Library - Function and Content Lessons

When talking about words, we make a distinction between content words and function words, also known as open-class words and closed-class words, respectively. Content words the words we want the listener to clearly understand when we are speaking, and content words are the words you hear clearly when listening to native English speakers. Function words, on the other hand, are words which do not have clear meanings or obvious concepts, and make up the framework or scaffolding of a sentence. Function words are words like articles, demonstratives, quantifiers, prepositions, and conjunctions. When we speak, the function words are often placed in a weak position and can be very difficult to hear. These lessons have been designed to help you to understand the difference between function and content words and thus improve your listening skills and your pronunciation.

3 Function and Content Lessons

Alphabetical Categories

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A vocabulary and pronunciation activator which will help you with the following words: try, entry, gantry, pantry, poetry, pastry, paltry, sultry, wintry, country, poultry, ancestry, industry, forestry, toiletry, dentistry, chemistry, carpentry, circuitry, and psychiatry. Not only will you learn how to use each of the words, but you will also learn how to pronounce sentences using them. I have ...

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A look at how and why speech is broken up into parts, or segments, and how this segmentation affects pronunciation. This lesson will help you to hear the breaks in speech that we get at speech segment boundaries but not within the segments themselves. This look at this important feature of pronunciation also looks at content and function words and shows how these words are hear prominently or l...

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An explanation of function and content words in English. The difference between function and content words is one of the key factors in English sentence stress and the rhythm of English. This lesson help you to better understand them. I’ve used the terms function and content words several times in this course up to now. I thought it was a good time to tell you what they are. Function word...