- For Teachers
I have a question regarding the pronunciation of the word "objective". I had always thought it was stressed in the first syllable, but recently, a colleague told me it should be stressed in the second syllable.
I have looked it up in several pronunciation dictionaries and most provide a transcription with the stress on the second syllable, but I found one which makes a difference in the stress when you mean "the opposite of subjective" (then stressed in the second syllable) and when you mean "aim" (usually stressed in the first syllable). So...it is a bit messy.
Which is the right pronunciation? The meaning I want to confer, if that really makes a difference, is "aim, target".
Thank you so much
Brit native, not a teacher.
I would tend to stress the second syllable "objective" in most cases.
That is an objective view. But if the objectivity was being questioned by the person I was talking to, I would stress the first syllable to underline that I mean OBjective and not SUBjective. I think this is the only time I would stress the first syllable. Note that this may well be different in the United States. I refer only to UK usage.
Rightly or wrongly, I would also say "objective" when meaning "aim",
The objective was to clarify the situation.
Note that you could also say "the object of the exercise was to clarify the situation."
As someone who only knows US pronunciation, I also say objective in most cases.
The only time I wouldn't is if I wanted to contrast a subjective view with an objective view - just to make sure the listener heard the difference properly.
If I simply said "Try to be as objective as possible," then the second syllable would get the stress.