10 Examples of how STRESS can change the meaning or part of speech of a word

It is crucial to know where to place the appropriate stress or intonation of many words in English, as the meaning of a word or its part of speech can change.

Pay close attention to which syllables (the first or second) carry the stress and what part of speech each word is (verb or noun).  Do you notice any pattern in these two syllable words?  Well, as you can see in these examples, if the stress is on the first syllable, it is a noun, and if the stress is on the second syllable, it is a verb. 

1.       Conduct

a.       conDUCT (v.):  We will conduct business as usual on Friday despite the federal holiday.
b.      CONduct (n.):  The conduct of the secret service personnel in Columbia was unacceptable.

2.       Conflict

a.       conFLICT (v.):  I am afraid that our meeting will conflict with the arrival of our partners, so we will have to reschedule. 
b.      CONflict (n.):  Peace negotiations have not led to any resolution of the conflict.    

3.       Decrease

a.       deCREASE (v.):  Birth rates around the world have decreased in the last several decaedes.
b.      DEcrease (n.):  The decrease we have seen in sales is a result of the nation's economy slowing down.

4.       Increase

a.       inCREASE: (v.)  As the baby boomer generation grows old, the demand for nurses has increased, along with the demand for health care.
b.      INcrease: (n.)  The dramatic increase in China's exports worries many politicians and business men alike.

5.       Object

a.       obJECT (v.): Surprisingly, the citizens did not object to the increase in taxes.
b.      OBject (n.): We saw dozens of tiny glass objects in the store arranged neatly in a row.

6.       Permit

a.       perMIT (v.): The law permits drivers to make a right turn on a red traffic light.
b.      PERmit (n.): Teenagers who work on family farms in the United States can acquire a special driving permit that allows them to operate vehicles at 13 years of age.

7.       Present

a.       preSENT (v.): We will present our findings to the committee next week.
b.      PREsent (n.): In our family we exchange presents on Christmas Eve. 

8.       Project

a.       proJECT (v.): Economists project that the employment rates will rise by June.
b.      PROject (n.): Our nonprofit organization has recently submitted a proposal to acquire a development project in Angola.

9.       Record

a.       reCORD (v.): The detectives recorded incriminating conversations with a simple wire tap.
b.      REcord (n.): The physician's office has converted all hard copy records to digital files.

10.   Recall

a.       reCALL (v.): I cannot recall the final numbers right now, so I'll call you right back.
b.      REcall (n.): Management has announced a recall of all meat products due to the E.coli outbreak. 

Comments

  1. Thank you for this post. You know that this post is hard to find? Finally I found it! Thank you! :))

    - Anonymous Girl

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for this post of stress words



      ~Jp


      OVER AND OUT..

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  2. tnx because i made my ass. because of this post

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  3. Thanks for reading! Glad it was useful. If you have any suggestions for posts, just leave a comment here or in the Questions section. Best!

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  5. thanks,i really need this for my assignment,it really helps everyone

    ReplyDelete
  6. 'Produce' is another one that follows this rule. It means fruits and veg with the stress on the first syllable, and 'to make' with stress on the second syllable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the suggestion...I will include it in my next post :)

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  7. I THANK YOU BECAUSE I REALLY UNDERSTAND

    ReplyDelete
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    Replies
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  9. Love this post. Seems to me not all that different from Chinese, where changes of tone change meanings, although that's a bit more complex and applies to most words.

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  10. You comment that if the stress is on the first syllable it's a noun and on the second it's a verb. This doesn't apply to
    ENtrance and enTRANCE (completely different meanings).
    It applies to
    INcense and inSENCE but the meanings are unrelaed.

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  11. Absence. Just like everything else here, if you stress the first syllable, it is a noun (the commonly known definition). However, if you stress the second syllable and pronounce it ab-SONCE, it becomes a type of seizure, common in children, involving lapses of awareness.

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  12. DEtail (noun) vs deTAIL (verb meaning to make fancy).
    arithMETic (adjective) vs arithmetic (noun)
    reFUSE (verb) vs REfuse (noun meaning garbage)
    UNionized (adjective meaning in a union) vs unionized (adjective meaning not ionized) (this involves more than simply emphasis change)

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  13. CONtest (noun) vs conTEST (verb meaning to refute)
    questionable: REsearch (noun) vs reSEARCH (verb)

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  14. im so thankful of this post ... it makes me learn something and its hard to fine this kind of post !! thank you do much !!! :)

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    1. Thank you for reading! If you enjoy my blog, share with your friends! ;)

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