Say this sentence aloud a count how many seconds it takes.
The beautiful Mountain appeared transfixed in the distance.
Time required? Probably about 5 seconds. Now, try speaking this sentence aloud.
He can come on Sundays as long as he doesn't have to do any homework in the evening.
Time required? Probably about 5 seconds.
This simple exercise makes a very important point about how we speak an use English. Namely, English is considered a stressed language while many other languages are considered syllabic. What does that mean? It means that, in English, we give stress to certain words while other words are quickly spoken (some students say eaten!). In other languages, such as French or Italian, each syllable receives equal importance (there is stress, but each syllable has its own length).
Many speakers of syllabic languages don't understand why we quickly speak, or swallow, a number of words in a sentence. In syllabic languages each syllable has equal importance, an therefore equal time is needed. English however, spends more time on specific stressed words while quickly gliding over the other, less important, words.
Let's look at a simple example: the modal verb "can". When we use the positiv