Understanding Syllables and Stress
In English, words are divided into syllables, and not all syllables are pronounced with the same emphasis. The syllable that is pronounced more forcefully than the others is the 'stressed syllable.'
Consider the word 'photograph.' It has three syllables: 'pho-to-graph,' with stress on the first syllable: 'PHO-to-graph.' Now, when 'photograph' becomes 'photographer,' the stress shifts to the second syllable: 'pho-TOG-ra-pher.'
Rules of Syllable Stress
While English syllable stress rules may seem arbitrary, there are patterns you can recognize:
- Two-Syllable Nouns and Adjectives: Stress is usually on the first syllable. Example: 'TA-ble,' 'HAP-py.'
- Two-Syllable Verbs: Stress is usually on the second syllable. Example: 're-PLY,' 'de-CIDE.'
- Prefixes and Suffixes: Generally, prefixes are not stressed, while certain suffixes cause the stress to fall on the syllable just before them. Example: 'un-HAP-py,' 'deci-SION.'
Metkagram to the Rescue
Metkagram, offers comprehensive lessons and exercises that let you practice and internalize these stress patterns. By using annotated texts and flashcards, you can visually map stress patterns and improve your pronunciation.
Did you know? Changing the stress in a word can change its meaning. For example, 'CON-tract' is a noun, but 'con-TRACT' is a verb!
Identify the stressed syllables in these words:
Let's Perfect the Rhythm!
Mastering syllable stress rules is crucial for understanding and being understood in English. With Metkagram, you can tune into the rhythm of English and express yourself clearly and confidently.