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Syllable Stress

It is important to study syllable stress. Often incorrect stress causes the listener to misunderstand. In American English, syllable stress rules are not exact. Here are a few very general thoughts:
  • many nouns have stress on the first syllable
  • when the form of the word changes, the stress often changes
  • there are some patterns related to prefixes and suffixes
For syllable stress, the best rules to follow are these:
  • learn it word-by-word
  • review other forms of new words in a dictionary
  • be clear about the vowel sound on the stress
  • remember that unstressed vowels may get reduced to "u" as in "up."

Practice Syllable Stress

Get started practicing with the word lists below. These lists and video lessons will show you how to speak the stressed vowel and reduce other vowels. You can see how stress often changes with word forms. For instance, if you just learned the word technology, you could save yourself time by also studying technological.

If speaking with stress is difficult for you, start with these lists and repeat after the instructor in the video. Do this every day until speaking with stress becomes more natural.

Syllable Stress
500 Words

Syllable Stress
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Syllable Stress
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Syllable Stress
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Syllable Stress
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Syllable Stress
Prefix List 2

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