Did I pronounce the phrase "I'm gonna be gone for five weeks" correctly? https://clyp.it/oobrogbu

Phonetically it looks like: [aɪm gɑnə bɪ gɔn fər faɪv wiks]. I have no idea which words should I stress, I heard the phrase on the web and tried to imitate it. I think the stress should look like this: [aɪm ˌgɑnə bɪ ˈgɔn fər ˈfaɪv ˌwiks]. I may be wrong. I mean the phrase in a general context, when I want someone to know that I will be gone.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • 2
    ell.stackexchange.com might be a more appropriate place for this kind of question. Feb 11, 2015 at 16:55
  • 1
    Everything's fine in the transcription, except that (in American English, anyway) gonna is pronounced /'ɡənə/, with a stressed shwa (phonetically [∧]), rather than with [ɑ]. Feb 11, 2015 at 16:59
  • Thanks Digital Chris. Your time is appreciated. Can I remove the question? I don't find the option. Feb 11, 2015 at 17:31
  • @John Lawler, could you explain why you added "(phonetically [ʌ])"? I get the stressed shwa, which is also now normal in British English 'gonna' and 'because'. Feb 11, 2015 at 22:24
  • According to Beverly Lujan's book "The American Accent Guide" the [ʌ] is stressed schwa. Some people say both [ʌ] and [ə] are the same sound, although I can hear a difference between them. I'm Hungarian and [ʌ] sounds more like ɑ as in father for me, this is why I used [ɑ] instead of [ʌ]. Anyway I read that Americans don't really make difference between the two sounds. Feb 12, 2015 at 13:13

4 Answers 4


I'm a native speaker of American English. I would say that the short o in gone is a tad too short. Gone sounded more like gun to me. I didn't hear the -v- in five or the -s- in weeks, though. As far as the intonation is concerned, which word is the new information? If it's the fact that you're going to be gone, then gone is stressed. If it's how long you're going to be gone, then it's five. If the listener thought you were going to be gone for five months, then weeks is stressed. I the listener thought that someone else was going to be gone, then I'm is stressed. You can't really say which intonation is correct without knowing the context, but it did sound natural.

But please, watch out for mistakes like this: I have no idea which words should I stress. Embedded questions use statement word order: I have no idea which words I should stress.


It sounds fine, just work on the word five. It sounds like you only stressed the fi, but it is important to not forget about the ve


That is a good, neutral emphasis. However, depending on the context of this statement, you could put emphasis in other places.

If you want to convey that five weeks is a long time, you would put the emphasis more strongly and more equally on "five" and "weeks"


Overall accurate. Your weakest word is "five" which lacks a complete 'v' sound. Try pronouncing it with two syllables "fi-ve" first, and then turning that word into a single syllable.

Others have mentioned this, but it bears clarification. Like individual words, a complete sentence will have emphasis placed somewhere. As this stands, it sounds as though a computer has composed the sentence: phonetically correct, emphatically vague. Without the context of the question or situation this statement addresses, it is impossible to state where the emphasis will be.

As a native speaker of another language though, analyze how you say this phrase in that language. Which facets of the sentence to you emphasize then? Those will likely be the right ones to emphasize here.

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