English Pronunciation: Syllable Stress

500 Common Words: Syllable Stress

A syllable is a sound unit in a word or one beat. For instance, you can clap your hands one time when saying “June” and four times when saying “January.” June has one syllable. January has four syllables.

Most of the common words have stress on the 1st syllable. The words on the list below have the stress on the 2nd syllable. Remember that when you stress a sound, you also take the stress away from the other parts of the word. For instance, “computer” sounds like “cumPYUdr.” The stressed syllables are in capital letters.

About =
uBOUt
Before =
beeFOR or buFOR
Computer  =
cumPYUdr
Direct =
drRECT
Perhaps =
prHAPS
Above =
uBUV
Began =
beeGAN or buGAN
Contain =
cunTAIN
Enough =
eeNUF or eNUF
Remember =
reeMEMbr or ruMEMbr
Again =
uGEN
Begin =
beeGIN or buGIN
Correct =
crRECT
Example =
egZAMpul (x sounds like “gz”)
Together =
tuGEthr
Ago =
uGO
Behind =
beeHIND or buHIND
Decide =
deeSIDE or duSIDE
Important =
imPORnt or imPORtunt
Until =
unTIL
Among =
uMUNG
Between =
beeTWEEN or buTWEEN
Deliver =
deeLIvr or duLIvr
Forgotten =
forGOn or frGOtun
Appear =
uPEER
Complete=
cumPLEEt
Develop =
deeVElup or duVElup
Machine =
MuSHEEN

* a small “t” at the end indicates a stopped T or small T sound.

* when E is the second letter and not stressed, it often reduces to the short “u” as in “up.”

* “er,” “ir” and “ur” have the same sound.

* “u” indicates the “u” sound as in “up.” A long U as in “flute” is spelled as “oo.”

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