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 Rules of Word Stress in English

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PostSubject: Rules of Word Stress in English   Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:44 am

There are two very simple rules about word stress:

1. One word has only one stress. (One word cannot have two stresses. If you hear two stresses, you hear two words. Two stresses cannot be one word. It is true that there can be a "secondary" stress in some words. But a secondary stress is much smaller than the main [primary] stress, and is only used in long words.)

2. We can only stress vowels, not consonants.
________________________________________________________________________________________


Here are some more, rather complicated, rules that can help you understand where to put the stress. But do not rely on them too much, because there are many exceptions. It is better to try to "feel" the music of the language and to add the stress naturally.


[b]1. Stress on first syllable



2. Stress on last syllable



3. Stress on penultimate syllable
(penultimate = second from end)

4. Stress on ante-penultimate syllable
(ante-penultimate = third from end)

5. Compound words (words with two parts)
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