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  1. #1
    Nannou's Avatar
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    Default rules for stress

    One of the major difficulties I have when I speak English is applying the rules of stress in words.
    I don't know which syllable should be stressed in the word I pronounce.

    Can you help me by providing a thorough list of rules for the stressed syllables in English words, please?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    xpert's Avatar
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    Default Re: rules for stress

    This game will help you a lot. CLICK
    I hope you enjoy it

  3. #3
    Baba Yaga is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: rules for stress

    Quote Originally Posted by xpert View Post
    This game will help you a lot. click
    I hope you enjoy it
    link does not work (crying)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: rules for stress

    Quote Originally Posted by Baba Yaga View Post
    link does not work (crying)
    It works. I've just played the game

  5. #5
    yiuho is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: rules for stress

    Quote Originally Posted by Nannou View Post
    One of the major difficulties I have when I speak English is applying the rules of stress in words.
    I don't know which syllable should be stressed in the word I pronounce.

    Can you help me by providing a thorough list of rules for the stressed syllables in English words, please?

    Thanks in advance
    I suggest you buy a pronunciation dictionary with CD which has both American English and British English Pronunciation cos sometimes the stress in the words are difference in American English and British English. I am using Longman Pronunciation Dictionary with CD and Cambridge Pronouncing Dictionary, I tried to find all popular words in these dictionaries and find out the stresses and their differences in American and British Pronunciation.

  6. #6
    LeMoyne is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: rules for stress

    The greatest difficulty about the rules for stress I think constitute words with a stress pattern that can change, depending on context. A very famous and often given example is (stressed part in bold):

    Q: Where's Gordon, do you know?
    A: Well, I guess he's upstairs.

    1: Now I've looked in every room for the keys, I can't find them.
    2: Why don't you look upstairs, maybe you've left them there?

    (There may be better examples.)

    Is there any website dedicated to this special rule in pronunciation/stress? Where I can get an overview, or something, as to which exact rules hold in cases like those given above...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: rules for stress

    Hi guys. I am not a qualified teacher, but a teacher in training, just to let you know.
    I have a book on teaching pronunciation and it outlines some guidelines for stresses on English words. Note that these are only guidelines and are not watertight rules. They may help.




    Main vocabulary:
    Many ‘everyday’ two-syllable nouns and adjectives are stressed on the first syllable.
    SISter, BROther, MOther, WAter, PAper, TAble, COFfee, LOvely etc.


    Prefixes and suffixes:
    These are not usually stressed in English.
    QUIetly, oRIGinally, deFECtive etc.


    Compound words:
    Words formed from a combination of two words are usually stressed on the first word.
    POSTman, NEWspaper, TEApot, CROSSword.


    Dual words:
    Words that are used as a noun and a verb normally have the noun rule as above (stressed on the first syllable) and usually stress the second syllable when used as a verb.
    IMport (n), import (v); REbel (n), reBEL (v); INcrease (n), inCREASE (v).





    As I said earlier these are only guidelines and there are probably many exceptions but I hope this may help a little.

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: rules for stress

    No wonder nannou is confused. French is blissfully simple (in only one respect - word-stress).

    Apart from the stress you'll find in a dictionary, and the contextual differences already mentioned (upstairs/upstairs), stress can affect syntactical relations:
    Tom hit Dick and then Harry hit him. => Dick is the object of two hits
    Tom hit Dick and then Harry hit him. => Dick is the object of the first hit, but Tom is the object of the second.

    Purists will say 'Aha, but you're confusing stress with intonation". Hmm. A microphone couldn't tell the difference.

    b

  9. #9
    Nannou's Avatar
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    Default Re: rules for stress

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    No wonder nannou is confused. French is blissfully simple (in only one respect - word-stress).

    Apart from the stress you'll find in a dictionary, and the contextual differences already mentioned (upstairs/upstairs), stress can affect syntactical relations:
    Tom hit Dick and then Harry hit him. => Dick is the object of two hits
    Tom hit Dick and then Harry hit him. => Dick is the object of the first hit, but Tom is the object of the second.

    Purists will say 'Aha, but you're confusing stress with intonation". Hmm. A microphone couldn't tell the difference.

    b
    Thanks BobK for your valuable remark. Yet, I think that I'm not confusing stress with intonation. I'm only asking for some rules for the stess in words and not in sentences.
    I once read in a book that the stress in the words ending with "tion" is on the last but one syllable (e.g.: exploration).
    That's why, I thought that there should be a resource/link where I can find a list of rules like the one I mentioned.

    I'm thankful and grateful to all of you for all the help you offer.

  10. #10
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: rules for stress

    Quote Originally Posted by Nannou View Post
    Thanks BobK for your valuable remark. Yet, I think that I'm not confusing stress with intonation. I'm only asking for some rules for the stess in words and not in sentences.
    I once read in a book that the stress in the words ending with "tion" is on the last but one syllable (e.g.: exploration).
    That's why, I thought that there should be a resource/link where I can find a list of rules like the one I mentioned.

    I'm thankful and grateful to all of you for all the help you offer.
    That rule is OK, but you didn't apply it right: it's 'exploration'.

    I'm afraid I don't know of such a link, but I'll be on the look-out.

    b

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