stress shift


Senior Member
I even don't know what should I put as a title of this question. It's about pronunciation.

Recently I've noticed that in English you say sometimes (the stressed word is underlined):

to you
to you

for us (pronounced separately)
for us (pronounced all together)

thank you
thank you

Is there some regional differences? Or it's due to different meanings? Or there's no difference, it's just optional (like words as "direction","director","either","neither",etc)
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Different stress, different emphasis, different meaning.

    Billy did it for us.
    We didn't have to do it ourselves because Billy did it for us.

    Billy did it for us.
    Billy didn't do it for someone else. He did it specifically for us.

    Thank you.
    Emphatic thanks - it was a big favour, much appreciated.

    Thank you.
    Likely to be said by B after A has thanked B - B says thank you to emphasise that B is also grateful to A.

    To you is harder - I'll leave that one :D
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