Syllable Stress Overview – #79320

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Syllable Stress Overview – #79320

This instructional video will teach you where to put stress in a word. This is called syllable stress. Putting the correct stress on a word is a very important part to speaking English clearly and fluently. The video will demonstrate where to put the stress and review the rules. One way to feel the stress is to use a rubber band. Begin by watching the video. Keep a rubber band near you so you can practice the stress with the speaker in the video. After the video, review the rules listed below.



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english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Important Points to Remember:

A syllable is a beat in a word. For example, ser-vice has two syllables (or two beats), and work has only one syllable (or beat).

  • “Customer” has three syllables: cus-tom-er

“Syllable stress” is the emphasis on the syllable. We create stress by making the syllable a little louder, longer, and higher pitch. One way to “feel” the stress on a syllable is to take a rubber band and pull it apart when you are stressing the sound.

  • cus-tom-er / ser-vice

object” is a noun. Do you see the object on the table?
“object” is a verb. Do you object to the way she treated you?

In English, every word has at least one syllable that is stressed. Stressed syllables are higher, longer, and louder than the other syllables.


Words with only one syllable of course are stressed on the only vowel sound.

  • please (the final “e” is silent)
  • call


  1. A one-syllable word can have only one stress.
  2. The syllable that is stressed must contain a vowel.
  3. The stressed syllable is longer, higher, and louder than the other syllables.
  4. These rules are not true 100% of the time. When we take words from other languages, we sometimes use the stress pattern of the original word.
  5. The best way to find out which syllable is stressed is to look in the dictionary. You can also clap out the syllables while saying the word to help you.

More Practice
Try these related pages to help you practice syllable stress:
Syllable Stress Overview Practice
Syllable Stress

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