English Grammar Index
Stress Patterns :
Here are some examples of stress patterns of simple words.
All words of two syllables are stressed either on the first syllable or on the second one.
There are few words stressed on the second syllable.
Words of three or more syllables, in addition to a primary stress, may have a secondary stress as well. A secondary stress, is in between the primary stress and no stress.
These are some words which when used as nouns or adjectives are stressed on the first syllable, but when used as verbs are stressed on the second syllable.
‘absent(adj) - ab’sent, (v)
‘conduct (n) - con’duct (v)
‘decrease (n) - decrease (v)
‘insult (n) - in’sult(v)
‘object (n) - ob’ject(v)
‘present(n) - pre’sent(v)
‘rebel(n) - re’bel(v)
‘subject (n) - sub’ject (v)
This shows that stress has meaning in English.
Words with weak prefixes are stressed on the root and not the prefix.
Words ending in –ion are stressed on the last syllable but one.
The following two syllable suffixes are stressed on the syllable immediately preceding.
Ity : a’ctivity, elec’tricity, e’quality
Ian : li’biarian, elec’trician, poli’tician
Ial : ‘arti’ficial, es’sential, of’ficial
Ially : es’sentially, of’ficially
Ious : ‘anxious, in’dustrious, la’borious
Some guidelines for making stress :
1. Mono syllable words : Words having a single syllable.
2. Disyllable words : Words having two syllables.
3. Poly syllable words : Words having three or more syllables.
Dissyllabic Words :
Monosyllable Words : 'go, 'saw, 'house, 'work, 'lose
Stress on The First Syllable : ‘always, ‘women, ‘public, ‘answer, ‘honest
Stress on The Second Syllable : a’bove, de’feat, be’lieve, a’gain, re’ply
Trisyllabic Words :
Stress on The First Syllable : ‘beautiful, ‘citizen, ‘memory, ‘popular, ‘arrogant
Stress on The Second Syllable : de’liver, con’ductor, in’volvement, ex’periment, com’panion
Stress on The Third Syllable : abdi’cation, edu’cation, examina’tions, civili’sation, recol’lection
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