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  1. #1
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    Stress / Syllable

    I really need your help.

    1) And about syllables, I know counting the vowel sounds is the best way. But how should we know where to divide the word into different syllables? For example, before checking the dictionary, I thought the word "address" was divided like this "add.ress". But when I checked it, I was kind of surprised "ad.dress".

    2) My second question which is more important to me: how is it possible to understand the position of stress in different words? Is there any method / rule to teach and explain it in an easy way? Or is it just a matter of having a strong listening skill?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Stress / Syllable

    I'll answer your second and most important question first. In every dictionary (printed or online) there is a guide to pronunciation and a guide to the symbols used to indicate various things about each entry. One is a symbol that shows where the stress of the word is to be placed. These symbols are not (yet) standardized among all dictionaries but if you read the instructions on how to use your dictionary, the stress symbol ill be shown and explained.

    You can hear and see an example using your word "address" here: Address | Define Address at Dictionary.com. This dictionary uses bold type to indicate the syllable of stress (n. uh-dres, ad-res; v. uh-dres]). Please note that your example has different pronunciations which give the word completely different meanings. But, they also offer the IPA designation of how to pronounce a word (address: n. əˈdrɛs, ˈędrɛs; v. əˈdrɛs). This small symbol - ˈ - placed before the syllable indicates that it is the syllable of stress.


    As for your first question, it is only by years of use and experience that you might be able to correctly divide a word into syllables. Personally, if I have this task to perform, I always have my dictionary next to me. That's the only way I feel safe in answering such questions.

    John
    Last edited by JohnParis; 03-Dec-2011 at 11:02. Reason: had/has

  3. #3
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    Re: Stress / Syllable

    Quote Originally Posted by English Freak View Post
    I really need your help.

    1) And about syllables, I know counting the vowel sounds is the best way. But how should we know where to divide the word into different syllables? For example, before checking the dictionary, I thought the word "address" was divided like this "add.ress". But when I checked it, I was kind of surprised "ad.dress".

    2) My second question which is more important to me: how is it possible to understand the position of stress in different words? Is there any method / rule to teach and explain it in an easy way? Or is it just a matter of having a strong listening skill?

    Thanks in advance.
    Are you talking about dividing words into syllables on paper or when speaking? I, for one, would say that "address" is divided into "a-dress" when spoken. The second d is irrelevant except in the spelling.

    As far as where the stress comes, there are some guidelines which are easily found on the net, but there are plenty of exceptions. Listening intently and remembering where the stress comes is the best way.

    Take: photo, photon, photograph, photographer, photographic, photographically. Do you know where the stress comes on those?

  4. #4
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    Re: Stress / Syllable

    Quote Originally Posted by English Freak View Post
    I really need your help.

    1) And about syllables, I know counting the vowel sounds is the best way. But how should we know where to divide the word into different syllables? For example, before checking the dictionary, I thought the word "address" was divided like this "add.ress". But when I checked it, I was kind of surprised "ad.dress".

    2) My second question which is more important to me: how is it possible to understand the position of stress in different words? Is there any method / rule to teach and explain it in an easy way? Or is it just a matter of having a strong listening skill?

    Thanks in advance.
    http://www.annies-annex.com/syllabication_rules.htm
    http://languagearts.pppst.com/syllabication.html

    If you have to divide words into syllables on the fly, there are many pages on the web that explain how to do it, if you want to remember the rules. Above are some random pages.
    Search also for syllabification.

  5. #5
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    Re: Stress / Syllable

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    I'll answer your second and most important question first. In every dictionary (printed or online) there is a guide to pronunciation and a guide to the symbols used to indicate various things about each entry. One is a symbol that shows where the stress of the word is to be placed. These symbols are not (yet) standardized among all dictionaries but if you read the instructions on how to use your dictionary, the stress symbol ill be shown and explained.

    John
    Thanks.
    I'm familiar with the ways dictionaries use to indicate the stress. I just want to know if it's possible to know where the stress exactly falls when you hear or see a word for the first time. Or do we have to get it pronounced by an English speaking person / online dictionary? Or should we refer to our dictionary?

  6. #6
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    Re: Stress / Syllable

    Quote Originally Posted by English Freak View Post
    I just want to know if it's possible to know where the stress exactly falls when you hear or see a word for the first time. No.
    Or do we have to get it pronounced by an English speaking person / online dictionary? That's one way.
    Or should we refer to our dictionary? That's another.
    5

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