Stress in a derivative may remain the same as in the word from which it was derived, or change in a certain way.
The same stress:deNY (verb) - deNIal (noun)
Shift of stress: preSENT (verb) - PRESent (noun)
There are many two-syllable words in English whose stress changes depending on meaning and class. For two-syllable words used as both nouns and verbs, stress nouns on the first syllable, and verbs on the second syllable.
examples: to present(verb) – a present (noun)
There are words which are similar but have different stress patterns depending on the part of speech:
O O oo
O o o
O o o O o
When other parts of speech are derived from nouns and verbs, typical patterns of stress are:
Adjectives are usually stressed on the first syllable or repeat the stress of the nouns from which they were derived, for example, fate (noun) - FATal (adjective). But stress may change in longer derivative adjectives, for example, METal (noun) - meTALlic (adjective).
Adverbs are usually stressed on the first syllable or repeat the stress of the adjectives from which they were derived, e.g. ANgry - ANgrily, WONderful - WONderfully, FOOLish - FOOLishly, athLETic - athLETically.
Gerunds and participles repeat the stress of the verbs from which they were formed, for example, forGET - forGETting - forGOTten, CANcel - CANceling – CANceled.
Here are some general tendencies for word stress in English:
Type of word
two-syllable nouns and adjectives
stress on the first syllable
suspect import insult
words which can be used as both nouns and verbs
the noun has stress on the first syllable
O o"You are the suspect!"
the verb has stress on the second syllable o O"I suspect you."
fairly equally balanced but with stronger stress on the first part
Stress on first syllable
Most 2-syllable nouns
Most 2-syllable adjectives
Stress the suffix itself:
Stress on last syllable
Most 2-syllable verbs
to deCIDE, to beGIN
The 2nd stressed syllable from the end
Words ending in - ial
Words ending in - ual
Words ending in -ian
Words ending in - sion
Words ending in - tion
Words ending in - ient
Words ending in - cious
Words ending in - tious
Words ending in - ic
Words ending in ible
The 3d stressed syllable from the end
Words ending in -cy
Words ending in -al
Words ending in -ate
Words ending in -ize (ise)
Words ending in -ary
Words ending in -ous
Words ending in -ty
Words ending in -phy
Words ending in -gy
Words ending in - fy
Words ending in -meter
Words ending in -ute, -ude
Compound words (words with two parts)
For compound nouns, the stress is on the first part
For compound adjectives, the stress is on the second part
For compound verbs, the stress is on the second part
to underSTAND, to overFLOW
Stress two-word verbs more strongly on the second word, but for their noun equivalents, stress them on the first part.
Noun: Here's the printout.
Verb: He printed it out.
There exist some disyllabic English words in which both syllables have strong stress. Such are compound nouns (|wee\kend), compound adjectives (|kind-\hearted), compound numerals (|fif\teen), phrasal verbs (|get \up), etc. They are said to be double-stressed. There stress is subject to rhythmical variations in a sentence. The stress ofdouble-stressed words is very often modified in sentences. The first of the stressed syllables is likely to lose its stress when closely preceded by another stressed syllable; similarly the second of the stressed syllables is likely to lose its stress when closely followed by another stressed syllables.
e.g.: He is |good-natured \person.
The |man is good-\natured.
Word stress Quiz
1. Divide the pairs of word into two groups:
Shift of stress:
The same stress:
offend (verb) - offence (noun)
extract (v) - extract (n)
deny (v) - denial (noun)
review (noun) - review (v)
product (n) – produce (v)
refer (v) - reference (noun)
decide (v) – decision (n)
increase (v) - increase (noun)
vary (v) – various (adj)
preview (noun) - preview (v)
portray (v) – portrayal (n)
object (noun) - object (v)
hospital (noun) - hospitalize (v)
present (v) - present (noun)
2. Read and translate the sentences. Decide which of the identical words is a verb and which is a noun:
1. The farm was used to produce produce.
2. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
3. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
4. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
5. I did not object to the object.
6. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
7. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
8. The bank recorded a new record yesterday.
9. He presented his wife with a beautiful present.
10. They're conducting a study into his conduct.
11. The suspect was suspected of robbing the bank.
12. The desert is so dry that it is usually deserted.