The rules of word stress

1. RULE 1 : two syllable words
a)noun/adj of 2 syllables: stress 1st syllable
ex: student, table, sticker… happy, random, courage….
exceptions: machine , event
b)verbs of 2 syllables :stress 2nd syllable
ex: to admit, to intent, to construct…
c)verbs of 2 syllables-ending with OW, EN, Y, EL, ER, LE, ISH :stress 1st syllable
ex: to open, to follow, to hurry, to struggle, to flatter, to finish..

2.RULE 2 : three or > three syllable words : stress 3rd syllable- counting backwards
ex: to celebrate,curriculum, to unify…
exception: to develop, imagine, banana

3.RULE 3 : suffixes:
a) stress before CIV(consonant-I-vowel)
ex: australia, religious, physician..
b) stress before IC
ex: titanic, panasonic, pacific….
exceptions: rhetoric, lunatic, catholic, arithmetic, politics, Arabic
c) stress on the following ending syllables: ADE, OO, OON, EE, EEN, EER, ESE, ISE, IZE, AIRE, SELF
EX: pickaboo, millionaire, cocoon, analyze, engineer, themselves….
d) stress before TION, TAL
ex: tradition, continental,….

4. RULE 4: phrases:
4.1. noun phrases:
a) WH – to inf ; whether/if-to inf ; gerund+ obj :stress on the last word :
ex: what to do, learning english…
b) compound nouns :
b1/ N+N , N+gerund , gerund+N: stress on 1st element
ex : river bank, coal mining, living room…
b2/ N + adj : stress on N :
ex: a handsome and good man…
b3/ N( possession, material, component) + N: stress on both of them:
ex : my father’s book, wood chair, egg cake…
4.2. adj / adv phrases : stress on the last word :
ex : the book on the table, the girl standing overthere, in the morning , by car…

5. RULE 5 : sentences :

stress on:
# verbs : the last verb
# nouns : the last noun
# adv
# complement
# before commas
# on reflexive pronouns
ex: I go to school and learn English
I do it myself



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