5 simple word stress rules to improve your pronunciation

5 Word Stress Rules to Improve Your Pronunciation

Here is a short explanation on what word stress is as well as five common word stress patterns that will help you accentuate the right syllables and speak English like a native speaker.

These rules will enable you to improve your intonation and speak with a better accent. Understanding and mastering the rhythm of English is crucial to be well understood and reach a high level of oral expression in English.

Rule #1

The stress is on the first syllable for most Nouns with 2 syllables

  • KNOWledge
  • CLImate
  • GRAMmar
  • PROduct
  • TAble
  • CHIna

The stress is on the first syllable for most Adjectives with 2 syllables

  • HAPpy
  • CLEver
  • SPAcious
  • HANDsome
  • GRACEful

 

Rule #2

The stress is on the last syllable for most Verbs with 2 syllables.

  • exPORT
  • inCREASE
  • perMIT
  • proNOUNCE
  • reQUIRE
  • arRANGE
  • seCURE
  • proMISS
  • comPLY
  • inFLATE

 

Rule #3

The stress is usually on the second last syllable for the words ending in –TION, -SION, -CIAN.

  • eduCAtion
  • maGIcian
  • insti TUtion
  • muSIcian
  • concenTRAtion
  • exTENsion
  • techNIcian
  • perMISsion
  • obSESsion

**exception: TElevision

 

Rule #4

Stress is on the second last syllable for words ending in –IC.

  • econNOmic
  • reaLIStic
  • straTEgic
  • meCHAnic
  • geoGRAphic
  • draMAtic
  • pessiMIStic
  • acaDEmic
  • poEtic
  • eLECtric

 

Rule #5

Stress is on the last syllable for words ending in –EE and –OO.

  • employEE
  • degrEE
  • guarantEE
  • shampOO
  • tabOO
  • tattOO

**exceptions: COFfee and comMITtee

 

Keep these simple rules in mind and you will soon find your pronunciation getting better and better! And of course better pronunciation will help you to improve your spoken English more flucently and confidently.

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