the phrase "Don't mention it" phonetically looks like [ doʊnt ˈmɛn ʃən_ɪt ] I think the primary stress is on the second syllable "ˈmɛn". Am I right? But my question is, is it important to add any stress on "don't" or is it optional? The last two syllables are connected together "ʃən_ɪt" and I don't think they need any stress. Any suggestion appreciated.

  • Related: Prosodic stress.
    – choster
    Feb 2, 2015 at 17:44
  • It depends on what you're trying to say. You stress the word that's most significant.
    – Barmar
    Feb 2, 2015 at 17:47
  • I'm trying to use "don't mention it" instead of You're welcome. The dictionary says the verb "mention" has stress on first syllable. I think we need to keep that stress. Am I right? Feb 2, 2015 at 17:58
  • Actually, you can say "don't mention it" in a steady monotone and it doesn't sound that odd, just a little half-hearted. Slightly stressing "don't" makes the phrase "come alive" a bit better. The amount of stress on the first syllable of "mention" is negligible.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 2, 2015 at 18:34
  • I kind of suspect you're stressing over stress. The amount of stress normally placed on specific syllables in the above phrase is really quite small. More significant, probably, is the slight changes in tone -- saying the phrase with a higher tone (especially starting high) conveys a bit more honesty to the sentiment, while saying it with a lower tone (and maybe starting lower still) conveys a sort of sarcastic mood. But again, this is all quite subtle -- you will sound artificial if you overdo it.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 2, 2015 at 20:27

3 Answers 3


To mean thank you, the sentence stress is on the word mention, and the word stress in mention is on the first syllable: Yes.

It is not a very strong stress.

The final consonant (nt) and ("hidden") vowel sound ("tUH") in don't are unpronounced or weakly pronounced. It is of short duration, weakly pronounced, and the Tuh that ends it in some other patterns is usually not pronounced.

Doan MENcha-nit.


I find that there is a secondary stress on "don't" so long as the "n't" part is pronounced. In a sufficiently casual and reduced style, you can omit the "n't" and wind up with just "doe", and then there doesn't need to be a secondary stress: [dəwˈmɛnʃn̩ɪt].


If you are pissed with someone and they get a bit annoying with someone than you stress the don't, however if you are say someone like a teacher and you want to tell your pupils not to do something you wouldn't stress the don't.

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