Word Stress

English Grammar Index

Word Stress :

English words with more than one syllable mostly have a fixed stress pattern. There are not many rules to show which syllable of a word will be stressed. One usually has to learn the stress pattern of a word along with its meaning, spelling and pronunciation.

Stressed on first syllable :

AFter, CAPItal, HAPpen, EXercise, EAsy

Stressed on second syllable :

InSTEAD, proNOUNCE, aGREEment, partiCULARly

Stressed on third syllable :

EnterTAIN, underSTAND, concernTRAtion

The stressed syllable of a word is the one that can carry an intonation movement. Many short phrases also have a fixed stress pattern.

frontDOOR, (not FRONTdoor)

LIVing room (not living ROOM)

Related words can have different stress patterns.

To inCREASE, an INcrease, PHOtograph, photoGRAPHer photoGRAphic

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