Intonation In English Nouns And Adjectives Are Stressed Differently Than Verbs

Listen and Learn: Nouns and Adjectives one way; Verbs another

Chinese has "tones" but all languages have their own special intonation. the​ "music" of​ a​ language is​ its intonation and it​ is​ perhaps the​ most important element of​ a​ correct accent.

A "ggod" accent is​ not only a​ question of​ good pronunciation. Many people think that pronunciation is​ what makes up an​ accent. it​ may be that pronunciation is​ very important for an​ understandable accent. But it​ is​ intonation that gives the​ final touch that makes an​ accent correct or​ native. Often we hear someone speaking with perfect grammar,​ and perfect formation of​ the​ sounds of​ English but with a​ little something that gives her away as​ not being a​ native speaker.

Therefore,​ it​ is​ necessary to​ realize that there are three components to​ an​ accent,​ pronunciation,​ intonation,​ and linking. in​ other places we will examine pronunciation,​ the​ proper formation of​ vowels and consonants,​ and linking,​ the​ way that syllables within a​ word,​ and the​ beginning and ending of​ words come together.

But what interests us now is​ the​ issue of​ intonation,​ and in​ particular the​ difference in​ intonation of​ nouns and adjusctives on​ the​ one hand,​ and the​ intonation of​ verbs on​ the​ other. a​ review of​ this gives us a​ perfect example of​ how meaning affects intonation.

Noun/Adjective and Verb

In other articles,​ we saw: that verbs of​ two syllables often have the​ stress on​ the​ second syllable,​ while the​ related noun has the​ stress on​ the​ first syllable. We also saw that expressiones of​ two words are stressed differently according to​ their meaning.

This article,​ along with the​ others,​ is​ an​ example of​ the​ effect that meaning has on​ intonation in​ English. Many native speakers do not realize that the​ "rule" of​ this section is​ pretty rigorous. to​ know it​ can help you​ in​ building your vocabulary at​ the​ same time that you​ perfect your intonation. Even native speakers can profit from being more precise in​ the​ intonation of​ their English.

This is​ another intonation pattern that you​ must master. Verbs ending in​ the​ letters "ate" pronounce the​ letter "a" of​ the​ last syllable with the​ "long a" sound (the name of​ the​ letter "a",​ the​ sound of​ the​ words steak and make). Related nouns or​ adjectives pronounce the​ letter "a" of​ the​ last syllable with the​ indefinite schwa sound (the sound of​ the​ "a" of​ the​ word about,​ or​ the​ second "e" in​ the​ word elephant)

For each word,​ indicate that you​ know the​ difference between the​ two uses of​ the​ same word (by "same" we mean having the​ same spelling.)

First,​ give a​ brief meaning of​ the​ word used as​ noun or​ adjective and put the​ letter "I" to​ indicate that the​ final letter "a" is​ the​ indefinite sound of​ the​ "a" in​ about.

Next,​ give a​ brief meaning of​ the​ word used as​ a​ verb and put the​ letter "A" to​ indicate that the​ final letter "a" is​ the​ sound of​ the​ "long a" of​ the​ word make.

I start the​ exercise with two examples,​ the​ words alternate and appropriate. I have indicated the​ stress with CAPITAL LETTERS. you​ underline the​ syllable that is​ stressed,​ and write a​ brief explanation to​ indicate that you​ understand the​ difference. you​ do the​ rest of​ the​ table. And make sure you​ pronounce the​ words OUT LOUD.

alternate I
Noun: a​ substitute

alternate a​
Verb: to​ take turns.

appropriate I
Adjective: correct or​ suitable

Appropriate a​
Verb: to​ take over.

Now,​ you​ do the​ rest of​ the​ table,​ underlinging the​ accented syllable and defining the​ word to​ emphasize your understanding that the​ accent goes with the​ meaning.

approximate,​ to​ approximate
articulate,​ to​ articulate
associate,​ to​ associate
deliberate,​ to​ deliberate
duplicate,​ to​ duplicate
laminate,​ to​ laminate
graduate,​ to​ graduate
intimate,​ to​ intimate
moderate,​ to​ moderate
predicate,​ to​ predicate
precipate,​ to​ precipate

Practice on​ the​ following sentences that contain some of​ the​ words of​ the​ list used buth as​ noun or​ adjective,​ and as​ verb. Underline the​ accent and read the​ sentences out loud

The facilitator wanted to​ separate the​ general topic into separate categories
Would you​ care to​ elaborate on​ his elaborate explanation?
Have you​ heard that your associate is​ known to​ associate with gangsters?
How much do you​ estimate that the​ estimate will be?

Look for other articles on​ this same subject by searching for the​ word "intonation"!

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