- Communicating clearly and accurately.
- Understanding meaning (PRE - sent is a gift, pre - SENT is an action).
There are three very important rules about word stress:
- One word, one stress.
- The stress is always on a vowel.
- Prefixes and suffixes are never stressed.
Rules for stressing
Most two-syllable nouns and adjectives
Stress on the first syllable.
Most two-syllable verbs and prepositions
Stress on the last syllable.
Stress on the first syllable (except words with long vowel sound: engiNEER).
Stress on the first syllable (except words with long vowel sound: PortuGUESE).
Stress on the first syllable (except words with prefixes: reMEMber, conTINue).
Words that end in -cy, -ty, -phy and –gy
Stress on the third-from-last syllable.
Stress on the first part.
Remember that there are exceptions to every rule. Use a dictionary to check the word stress (’) of new words. The best way to learn English stress is to listen to audio materials and to repeat them after the speaker.