I cut this phrase out of a TV series and uploaded to Youtube: https://youtu.be/vfj-fl1wq74

The phrase "I need your help" phonetically looks like [aɪ nidʒyər hɛlp]. I listened to the video over and over again and I hear some stress on "help", but I don't hear any stress on "need" and "your". I know we can stress different words to change the meaning for example:

I need your help - I need your help. I need help, not my brother, not my sister, and not my neighbor.

I need YOUR help - I need YOUR help. I need your help, not your neighbor's help.

However, I'm interested in the context above (the attached video). In the attached video I can't hear any stress other than the word "help", and I think it is the most common way we use the phrase. I would like to have your feedback. I'm not a native speaker and can't distinguish very well.

3 Answers 3


Stressing help is fine and logical here:

The male speaker asks

"What are you doing? I need your help - Preston can't find his shoe."

He sais what he needs (-> help, hence slightly stressed), not who needs help or where he intends to get it from, which would put the stress on "I" or "your".


The intonation is impatient and exasperated; intoned in that way, it means "Don't just sit there. I'd like you to get up off your ass and help me to find the shoe."


Your question couldn't help but remind me of the old southern song, "Not my brother, not my sister, but it's me, Oh Lord ..." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTwlIYmDcws :-)

Anyway, you could put emphasis on any word in this sentence and get a slight change in meaning.

"I need your help". What I need is help, not judgment. Or, not sympathy. Or whatever the person may be offering that isn't what you need.

"I need your help." No one else can help me. I need help from you.

"I need your help." There is no way I will manage without your help.

"I need your help." Not somebody else, not my brother nor my sister nor the neighbor, but me.

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