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Why are the pronounciation of "less" between fearless and unless differently? Options
bihunsedap
Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2017 3:05:48 AM

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Why are the pronounciation of "less" between fearless and unless differently?

How do I pronounce them correctly?

Is it because fearless has to read as fearess without l (or put letter L as silent)?
J-P
Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2017 3:43:55 AM

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Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
It is a simple question of accentuation : the FIRST syllable is stressed in FEARless ,the SECOND syllable is stressed in unLESS.
thar
Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2017 3:48:47 AM

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Because they are used in different ways.


Fearless is 'without fear'.
The emphasis is still on the main word.

Fearful, fearless; useful, useless.

It is not 'unful, unless'.


'Unless' is more related to 'un-' = 'not', as a negative.
A bit like true, untrue, happy, unhappy.
'If...'
I will pass the exam if I score 80%

'Not less than if..' - unless.
It will not pass the exam unless I score 80%.



[This is a big simplification - it is actually a contraction and mutation of 'not on lesse' - not on a less condition. But that is the complicated answer, so you can ignore it and still get the main point.)
bihunsedap
Posted: Thursday, April 6, 2017 2:33:54 AM

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Joined: 11/26/2014
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Thanks all.
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