English is a stress-timed language.  This means that a word gets a certain “time” to be said.  The speaker makes the syllables longer or shorter to fit into the allotted time.  For instance, it takes the same time to say Kent as it does to say Ohio.  The difference is that the syllables in Ohio are shorter to fit the allotted time.    English and German are stress timed languages.  This is in contrast to syllable timed languages where each syllable gets a certain “time” to be spoken.  Spanish and Japanese are syllable timed languages.

How do you stress a syllable?  Make the vowel longer.  It is also higher and louder.   In contrast, unstressed syllables are softer, shorter, and lower.

Don’t let this confuse you.  It is like music.  Listen to words and try to hum them.  Listen to the “musical beats” of the word.  Then try to imitate it by saying the word.