"Did it work?" phonetically looks like [dɪd ɪt wɜrk] and after linking it looks like: [dɪ_dɪt wɜrk]. The words "Did" and "it" are linked.

I noticed some stress and rise in pitch on "work", of course it's a YES/NO question and I think the rising intonation is perfectly normal. This is how I pronounce it: https://clyp.it/1blsunkb

I didn't put any stress on "did" and "it" as you probably noticed. My question, is it necessary to stress "did" or "it" or stressing "work" is enough in a normal day-to-day natural context?

Any suggestion appreciated.

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    You said the sentence in the way that a native speaker would in terms of its intonation and stress pattern. If you had to ask a second time, for example, if you asked and I avoided the question in my answer, then stressing the beginning of the sentence more would be appropriate. Apr 6, 2015 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


The correct format is to stress "work" under normal conditions. If you stress none of the words, it comes off as uncaring. Stressing "did" implies a continuation of an inference from a preceding sentence, that of almost a disbelief or skepticism as to whether it really worked. If "did" were stressed, I'd expect it to be preceded by, "And," though not a rule, but a frequent pairing. Stressing "it" indicates that "it" was one of several options/paths/attempts and the stress on "it" would refer to that particular "it" among the others.

However, barring all those exceptions, "diddit WORK?" would be the most natural way of saying the sentence.

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