What are function words and how do they help us communicate more effectively?
Just like other languages, English has two types of words: function words, and content words. Function words, such as prepositions, conjunctions, articles, etc. are not very important. They simply help us construct grammatically correct sentences. In fact, if you leave out all the function words in a sentence, the meaning can still be understood from the context.
Content words, on the other hand, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. are essential because they provide meaning. Without content words, we have no meaning.
For this reason, we can say that function words are de-stressed, so we say them more quietly and quickly. And content words are stressed, that is to say, we say them with more emphasis. In other words, we rush through function words and we linger on content words when we speak English.
Watch this video to learn more about this concept, specifically function words!
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