- To understand word stress, it helps to understand what syllables are.
- Every word is made from syllables.
- Each word has one, two, three or more syllables.
- The words are divided according to its pronunciation
One syllable : Dog
Two syllables : or-ange
Three syllables : Ex-pen-sive
Four syllables: In-te-res-ting
What is Word Stress?
In English, we do not accentuate every Syllable in a word, we accentuate only one syllable.
The stress can be found in any syllable but it depends on the characteristics of the word, some people rely on experience but not all of us can rely on it and that’s why we learn the word stress rules or we succeed with a combination of experience and rules
Word Stress Rules
Let’s Remember that:
- One word has only one stress syllable.
- We stress vowels and not consonants.
In my own experience as a university student I studied the rules for stressing words and I practiced stressing the most common words then I verified them in my dictionary. You will probably find one of these two ways as indication of word stress in your own dictionary.
Plas-tic : /plæs’tIk/
Plas-tic : /’plæs tIk/
The Stress is in the syllable before the ial, ual, ian, ient, cious, tious, ic, ible, ity, tion , logy , graphy , meter or sion sound
The Stress is in the syllable before the er sound
The Stress is two syllables before the -cy, , -phy and -gy sound.
The Stress is on the first part of compound nouns
Compound verbs are stressed in the second part
Word Stress Quizzes
Click on the following external links to know more about
Word Stress Games
Word Stress Worksheets
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