Word stress rules

One reason English can be difficult is knowing where the stress is in different words.

Looking at the words below, can you work out the rules?

Group 1
pretty, happy, funny, people, father, water

Group 2
increase, import, decrease, insult

Group 3
refugee, evacuee, entertain, pertain, volunteer, mountaineer, Japanese, journalese, cigarette, courgette

Group 4
geographic, climatic, invention, prediction

Group 5
photography, geography, opportunity, tranquility

Group 6
loudspeaker, second-class, bad-tempered

Group 7
credit card, shop assistant, living room, post office, dishwasher, suitcase


Now have a look at some rules to help you here, and then take the quiz at the bottom of the page.

How did you do?

Now why not write your own examples using the rules?

Good luck!

Good pronunciation is important so that people can understand what you are saying. It is particularly important in exams where there is a speaking component, such as TOEFL, and EIKEN. Click on the links to find out more about NELS’ courses.


Word stress rules」への2件のフィードバック

  1. The explanation of the compound words are so useful , I’ve been often confused about where the stress is.
    I underSTOOD it, then I did the quiz and I answered all questions correctly.
    Thank you!

  2. Well done, Momo. I’m GLAD you underSTOOD and got ALL the QUESTions RIGHT!



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