to put the tonic accent on words in English
for placing the tonic accent on multi-syllable words in English.
rules do not cover all the aspects of word stress in English; but they
do cover the
large majority of
plurisyllabic words in the language.
stress in English can seem to be a very complicated issue. Where
do we put the accent on multi-syllable words in English? English people
don't often make mistakes, but they never learn any rules! Obviously
therefore there must be some
fairly simple basic "rules"
should you say: difficult or difficult or difficult?
Here are the six main
principles that determine how words are stressed or accentuated in
word is normally
stressed on the first
there is a reason to put the stress somewhere
- The "reasons" are either suffixes
(like -ity or
ex- or in-).
- If the
(ending) starts with the
the position of stress in a word.
-ial, -ient, -ious, -ior, -ic, -ity, etc.
The stress comes on the syllable
There are only a very few
exceptions to this rule.
the stress of a word.
-er, -ed, -ist, -ing, -ment
stressed in two-syllable
nouns starting with a prefix
need to be learned individually.
stressed in three-syllable
always stressed in verbs.
Examples: 'Continent, 'incident, 'exercise;
to con'sider, to
but to 'indicate
syllable verbs ending in -ate
are stressed on the first syllable).
over all others, notably when a "rule
ending" is followed by a "rule
perpetually, deliciously, conditional, conditioner,
of rules is not
but it does
explain where to place the main accent in the
majority of words in English.
Example Take a
selection of words in the family of the word nation. The position
of the tonic syllable changes according to the rules above.
you correctly place the tonic syllable (main stress) in these words
obey the rules?
England, Edinburgh, region, regional, economic, to
complain, community, to refuse, considering, complexity.
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