There are several pairs of nouns and verbs in English that are spelled the same way, but have different pronunciation due to a difference in stress placement. Listen to the following words:
Listen to the following words. Do you hear the noun or the verb?
Read each pair of sentences to yourself. First, decide if the underlined word is a noun or a verb. Click on “Noun” or “Verb” to check your guess. Try to predict where the stress will be in each of the underlined words, which depends on whether it is a verb or noun. Then, listen to each sentence and repeat.
|1. Read the entire contract before signing it.|
|2. People contract malaria when they are bitten by a mosquito that is carrying it.|
|3. I need to conduct a research study for my thesis.|
|4. She got a bad grade for poor conduct.|
|5. Does anyone object to the rules of this game?|
|6. What is that object over there? I can’t see it from here.|
|7. We attribute her success more to luck than to hard work.|
|8. Patience is an essential attribute for a teacher.|
|9. The abstract of the article was well written.|
|10. Quantum physics is just too abstract for me to really understand.|
|11. The store has a wide variety of produce.|
|12. We need to produce a lot of evidence at the trial in order to make our case.|
|13. She cried endlessly and there was nothing we could do to console her.|
|14. Remember to turn off the console when you’re done using the computer.|
|15. The dentist wants to extract my tooth.|
|16. The recipe calls for vanilla extract.|
|17. The new tax law will have a negative impact on our company.|
|18. How will the new tax law impact our company?|
|19. It’s important to combat poverty.|
|20. He was awarded for his excellence in combat.|
Decide which word fits into each blank in the sentences below. The first one is done for you. Then, listen to the pronunciation of the sentence, checking for word stress placement in your choices. Read each sentence aloud, remembering to use the appropriate word stress.
|1. I went to the pharmacy for a REfill, but they wouldn’t reFILL my prescription.|
|2. I that the we have is innocent.|
|3. I you to give him the .|
|4. They want to the of a second crime.|
|5. We shouldn’t our troops in the .|
|6. It’s important to keep an accurate of all of our transactions, so please be careful when you the date, time, and cost of all of our sales.|
|7. I felt like such a when you me.|
|8. If you are going to call yourself a , then you need to against something.|
|9. Your are .|
What do you do now?
First, make a list of every noun/verb pair you can think of that follows the rule you learned. Practice pronouncing those words in sentences.
Second, come see a speech consultant to check your understanding of these noun and verb pairs, learn more about stress and how to master it, and improve your intelligibility.