Stress timing

The rhythm of English

Unlike Italian, English is stress-timed, which means that it gets its rhythm from the stressed syllables only. This means that the time between one stressed syllable and the next is the same whether there are no unstressed syllables between, or whether there are four. This requires unstressed syllables to be highly compressible, which is why we use schwa and the short ‘i’ so frequently.

This lesson uses the last part of the Gettysburg Address to demonstrate this.

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The Gettysburg Address



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Peter Brook at the Teatro Valle Occupato

A great British director in Rome


Peter Brook is one the great theatre directors of the twentieth century. His 1970 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream made theatre history.

On Friday April 12 at 8pm the Teatro Valle Occupato is screening 'The Tightrope', a documentary about Brook by his son, Simon Brook. The film will be followed by a public debate with Peter Brook.

You can book tickets by sending an email to

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