Syllable Stress with Prefixes and Suffixes – #79420

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Syllable Stress with Prefixes and Suffixes – #79420



english pronunciation practicePRACTICE

Important Points to Remember:

Syllable stress is often determined by the prefixes and suffixes that have been added to the basic form of the word. These are added at the beginning and end of words and they change the meaning of the original word.

Common prefixes are a, un, be, in, pro, ex, ob, & dis. Prefixes are usually not stressed. Instead, the first syllable of the base form of the word is stressed.

For example:

  • undo
  • restate
  • inside

Suffixes are like prefixes, but they are added to the ends of words. They often change the grammar of the word. Common suffixes are s, ed, ing, ish, ly, ee, & ic.

Some suffixes do not change the stress pattern of the word they were added to.

For example:

  • -less (effort → effortless)
  • -ing (open → opening)
  • -er (develop → developer)

Other suffixes actually take the stress, leaving the other syllables receiving either light or no stress.

For example:

  • -eer (engine → engineer)
  • -ique (tech → technique)
  • -aire (question → questionnaire)

Suffixes can also cause a the placement of stress to move to the syllable immediately before the suffix.

For example:

  • -eous (advantage → advantageous)
  • -ion (situate → situation)
  • -graphy (photograph → photography)

You don’t have to memorize all of these rules; however, it’s a good idea to practice these words so that they start to sound natural to you. If you practice them enough, you’ll be able to apply these patterns to new words that you learn.

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