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Intensive English Programme

STRESS PATTERN
The stress pattern of a word is the way all the syllables are stressed in it. There can be main and secondary stress, or unstressed sounds. Example The following are some stress patterns showing main stress and unstressed syllables:

0o e.g. key/board o0 e.g. con/duct (as a verb) o0o e.g. com/pu/ter 0oo e.g. mi/cro/phone oo0o e.g. ed/u/ca/tion

One-syllable words

One-syllable nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are stressed on the vowel sound in the word. Note that a diphthong is one complex vowel sound that forms only one syllable. A diphthong is stressed on its first main component. book, cat, rain, boat, crow, chair read, burn, touch, choose, laugh, hear new, bright, large, short, clear, loud late, fast, soon, now

Prepared by: Gursharan Kaur

Intensive English Programme

TWO-SYLLABLE WORDS Two-syllable nouns Two-syllable nouns are usually stressed on the first syllable. TEACHer, STUDent, CARpet, LESson REgion, ILLness, STATEment, CITy CONvict, INcrease, INstinct, OBject PERmit, PRESent, PROject, SYMbol Nouns may be stressed on the last syllable if there is a long vowel or a diphthong in it. Words of foreign origin (especially words of French origin) may be stressed on the last syllable. trainEE, caREER, deLAY, conCERN poLICE, hoTEL, beRET, rooMETTE

Two-syllable adjectives Some adjectives are stressed on the last syllable if there is a long vowel or a diphthong in it. abSURD, comPLETE, exTREME, moROSE If there is a prefix in an adjective, stress often falls on the first syllable of the root after the prefix. inSANE, imMUNE, enGAged unWELL, unKNOWN

Two-syllable verbs Two-syllable verbs are usually stressed on the second syllable, especially if the first syllable is a prefix. adMIT, apPLY, beGIN, beLIEVE comBINE, conFIRM, deNY, deSERVE disLIKE, misPLACE, exPLAIN forBID, forGET, igNORE, inVITE oBEY, ocCUR, perMIT, prePARE proPOSE, purSUE, reCEIVE, rePLY

Prepared by: Gursharan Kaur

Intensive English Programme

But there are many verbs that are stressed on the first syllable. HAPpen, CANcel, PRACtice ANswer, OFfer, MENtion

Prepared by: Gursharan Kaur

Intensive English Programme

THREE-SYLLABLE WORDS Three-syllable nouns Three-syllable nouns are usually stressed on the first syllable. POLitics, GOVernment, GENeral INterest, GRADuate, CONfidence But many nouns, especially those derived from verbs with prefixes, have stress on the second syllable. apPROVal, conFUSion, conSUMer corRECTness, eLECtion, diRECtor Some nouns have primary stress on the last syllable if there is a long vowel or a diphthong in it. 'engi'NEER, 'refu'GEE

Three-syllable adjectives Three-syllable adjectives are usually stressed on the first syllable. GENeral, DELicate, EXcellent WONderful, FAVorite, CURious Some adjectives have one more stress on the last syllable if there is a long vowel or a diphthong in it. 'OBso'lete / 'obso'LETE 'Vietna'MESE, 'Portu'GUESE Some adjectives do not repeat the stress of the noun from which they were derived and are stressed on the second syllable. geNERic, symBOLic, inSTINCtive

Three-syllable verbs Three-syllable verbs often have primary stress on the first syllable (even if it is a prefix) and secondary stress on the last syllable (which is often a verb suffix).

Prepared by: Gursharan Kaur

Intensive English Programme

'ORga'nize, 'MODer'nize 'SIGni'fy, 'SPECi'fy 'COMpen'sate, 'DECo'rate 'COMpli'ment, 'CONsti'tute But many verbs, especially those with prefixes, have stress on the second syllable. conTINue, conSIDer, reMEMber If the prefix consists of two syllables, its first syllable usually gets secondary stress. 'under'STAND, 'decom'POSE

Exercise 1 Look at the adjectives used to describe cars. Put them in the table according to their stress patterns. charming stylish unconventional muscular striking sleek distinctive sporty unique spacious

contemporary bold

1 syllable

Oo

oO

Ooo

oOo

ooOoo

oOooo

Prepared by: Gursharan Kaur