I’m really excited for Aunt Mary’s surprise birthday party
this afternoon! Aren’t you?
Yeah! How old is she?
She’ll be 55 on May 14 [fourteenth].
Wow! I didn’t know that my mom was older — she’s going
to be 57 on September 2 [second]. Anyway, Aunt Mary’s
going to be so surprised to see us all here!
I know! But we still have to get all the food set up before
she gets here … OK! We’re all ready now. Shh! She’s here!
- I’m really excited … Notice the emphasis on “really.” “Really” is used to emphasize the
adjective “excited” here.
- Birthday party Notice that the normal stress for a compound noun falls on the first
element of the compound.
- Aren’t you? This negative tag is used to show that the speaker expects a positive
answer. Patty assumes that Susan is also looking forward to the party.
- She’ll be 55 Notice that “55” is stressed here. This detail answers the question “How
old is she?”
- Fourteenth Notice that we use “th” for ordinal numbers, starting with 4 [but first,
second and third]. The stress is on the second syllable [fourTEENTH]. Compare this with
“fortieth: 40th” [FORtieth].
- She’s going to be … Notice how this is pronounced like “gonna be.” Instead of four
syllables “go/ing/to/be” there are three syllables “ga/na/be.”
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