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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #76222: Main stress
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: Pronunciation [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Pronunciation of final S - The sound [u:] - Spelling: J, G, GE or DGE? - Onomatopoeia - Articles and letters h and u - Pronunciation -ed in past simple - Sounds: [h] - Pronunciation -ed (video)
    > Double-click on words you don't understand


    Main stress


     

       

          It is very important to know if a syllable is stressed (or not)

                                                      

                                                                           For example
                words    pronunciation SyllablesStressed syllable
    PHO TO GRAPH                     3   1st
    PHO TO GRAPH ER                   4   2nd
    PHO TO GRAPH IC                   4   3rd
    PHO TO GRAPH I CALLY                   5    3rd


    In your dictionary, there are special symbols.
    ˈ shows where the stress is
    PHO TO GRAPH  / ˈfəʊ tə grɑ:f /
    PHO TO GRAPH ER /  ˈtɒ grəf əɼ /
    PHO TO GRAPH IC / fəʊ tə ˈgræf ɪk /
    PHO TO GRAPH I CALLY  / fəʊ.tə ˈgræf.ɪ.kli /

     

                                                      If you put the stress on another syllable, it can change the meaning of the word.
    DESSERT  / dɪˈzɜːt /   
                              
    DESERT    / ˈde.zət /                     
    (to) RECORD  / rɪ ˈkɔːd /                       
    (a)  RECORD  / ˈrek ɔːd /                     

     
     How to pronounce a word: for example = BLACKBIRD 
     louder

     B L A C K           
                       bird

                   
                        

     slower
    higher pitch

                         

                          There are rules, but the best way is to learn the pronunciation when you learn the word.

     
                                                                              A few rules... and exceptions!

       1.

                                                           Words with 2 syllables
    nounStress on the 1st syllable TAble  CHIna
    adjectiveStress on the 1st syllableCLEver  HAPpy
    verbStress on the 2nd syllableenjoy,   complain
                                                 in general but there are exceptions:
                                 a lot of verbs ending in  -ow, -en, -y, -er, -le, -ish have the stress on the 1st syllable:
                                      follow,              open,              carry,                  offer,              sparkle,                 finish

                                                    
                                                      Listenadjectives  nouns verbs

    graceful
    gorgeous
    handsome
    final present lovely slender
    suspect
    wooden

    accent
    contest
    increase incline
    present
    progress
    protest suspect
    transport

    accent

    contest
    increase

    incline
    present

    progress protest suspect transport

        2.

                                                                          Compound words
    nounsStress on the 1st partgreenhouse, steamboat, snowball, rainbow
    adjectivesStress on the 2nd partred-haired, bad-tempered, old-fashioned
    verbsStress on the 2nd partoverflow, understand, behave, forgive

        3.

    Suffixes
                                   

    Stress on the last syllable     

     

    Stress on the syllable before the suffix

      
     JapaNESE    mountaiNEER explaNAtion    fanTAStic

     

     

    Stress on the 2nd syllable before the suffix:

     

    aPOlogise   cerTIficate



     therMOmeter    biOgraphy

     

     

     

     

     

    If you perfect your intonation your accent will be perfect.

                                                                                       
            Exercise

       

    The text is below. Listen carefully and find the stressed syllable.


       

     





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    English exercise "Main stress" created by lili73 with The test builder
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     Hello,
     My name's Alix and if you want to learn about and improve your English pronunciation
     you've come to the right place.
     There are videos, quizzes, activities and downloads  to help you practice your English.
     Now good pronunciation is very important for good spoken communication .
     But what do we mean by good pronunciation?
     Well, you don't have to speak English like a native speaker.
     It's fine to have a different accent, but what is important is that you are able to speak clearly
     and that you don't prevent other people from understanding what your are trying to say.
     There are many different English accents in Britain and all around the world. These are all good models

    . Now, my accent is standard Southern British English and that's what I'll be showing you on this site.  Have fun!



                                   
                countries where English is the first and often only language of most people
                  
    countries where besides English as a native language there is at least one other significant native tongue
             countries where English is not native, only official language

     

     











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