English pronunciation for non-native speakers

Hi,

can you teach me whether there is a kind of rule how to pronounce words (i.e. which syllable to stress ?) in British English ?

Why do you say ca’pillary and ca’nal, but 'orange and 'lettuce (" ’ " indicates the stress) ?

How could a foreigner know this for a word he/she reads but has never heard before ?

Many thanks,

Susan

I’m afraid there isn’t any rule or clue that can be used. In dictionaries they may put the pronunciation using the phonetic alphabet, but this isn’t very helpful for those of us who don’t understand th phonetic alphabet. Your best bet is to ask a native speaker

Well, the same question is asked by native speakers. There are some stress rules for certain suffixes that you can find in a good instruction book on English pronunciation. (You need one that deals with prosody, and not just with pronunciation of individual sounds.) However, the best way to know how to pronounce a word is to do what native speakers do – consult a dictionary.

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