A. Mark word stress in the words below. Explain the stress – pattern in them. 

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A. Mark word stress in the words below. Explain the stress – pattern in them.

Novel, legalize, rotate, forget, sympathize, eager, brigade, organ, magician, behind, official, apart, technique, trainee, orchestra, orchestral, unity, harvest, delegate, profiteer, company, budget, advise, academy, intensify, politician, ability, capacity, politics, economy, hamper, sedate, debate, arabesque, volunteer, argument, enumerate, comment, imitate, accent, accentual, practitioner, peculiar, beautician



B. Read the words below according to the models. Think of your own examples.

(a) M o d e l: 'agitate - ֽagi 'tation

aberrate, aberration; actualize, actualization; modify, modification; dominate, domination; clarify, clarification


(b) M o d e l: e 'liminate – e ֽlimi 'nation

accentuate, accentuation; accommodate, accommodation; americanize, americanization; administrate, administration



C. Read the following word families. Concentrate on the stress shifts.

a. family – familiar – familiarity

b. diplomat – diplomacy – diplomatic

c. photograph – photographic – photographer – to photograph

d. industry – industrial – industrialist – industrialize

e. invention – inventive – inventor – invent

f. competition – competitive – competitor – compete

g. criticism – critical – critic – criticize

h. politics – political – politician – politicize

i. nation – nationalistic – nationalist – nationalize

j. analysis – analytical – analyst – analyze



D. Read the sentences below. Pay attention to the difference in stress in compounds and in word combinations.


a. He is in the greenhouse. – He is in the green house.

b. We saw some black birds. – We saw some blackbirds.

c. Do you need a blackboard? – Do you need a black board?

d. He is in the darkroom. – He is in the dark room.

e. He lives in the lighthouse. – He lives in the light house.

f. Does he live in the White House? – Does he live in the white house?

g. He picked up the hot plate. – He picked up the hotplate.

h. Have you seen a horsefly? – Have you seen a horse fly?

E. Practise reading the following sentences. Are the underlined words stressed in the same way or differently? Why?


1. This article is for export only. The country exports a lot of wool.

2. Where’s my gramophone record? These instruments record weather conditions.

3. I disapprove of his conduct. He will conduct the meeting tomorrow.

4. You have made little progress in English, I’m sorry to say. The work will progress slowly.

5. He speaks with a perfect accent. You are to accent the words correctly.

6. Where’s the object in this sentence? I object to your last remark.

7. You need a permit to go there. Will you permit me to say a few words?

8. Rain is quite frequent here. I used to frequent the park there.

9. You could see every detail in the picture. He couldn’t detail all the facts.

F. Practise reading the sentences below. Concentrate on the influence of rhythm on the stress pattern of compound adjectives.

1. This book belongs to our absent-minded professor. Our professor is absent-minded and often leaves his books behind.

2. The upstairs room has an outside staircase. He lives upstairs.

3. Wash it with luke-warm water. The water is luke-warm.

4. She is quite good-looking. There’s a good-looking girl over there.

5. He’s having afternoon tea now. We have tea nearly every afternoon.

6. They watched the changing of the Buckingham Palace guards. It’s near Buckingham Palace.

7. The boss is unbelievably bad-tempered. How can you stand such a bad-tempered person?

8. He’s always of-hand. He gave me an off-hand answer.

9. The Budapest’s climate is of continental type. He lives in Budapest.

10. Have a piece of home-made cake. This cake’s home-made.



Exercise 4


Listen and respond to the information you hear on the tape, like this:


:There was a strike where I work that lasted ten months!

:What! A ten-month strike!



Exercise 5



Put one of the multi-word verbs in the box into each of the sentences below. Repeat the sentences, paying attention to the stress.


Notice the stress patterns in multi-word verbs:

a) if they are separated, there is a stress on the adverb/postposition:

e.g. to 'put the 'meeting 'off


b) if they are not separated and followed by an object, the adverb/postposition is not normally stressed:

e.g. 'Look for the 'book.


c) When there is no object, the adverb/postposition is stressed:

e.g. The 'plane 'took 'off.


d) When there is another preposition after a multi-word verb, it is not stressed:

e.g. I ' don’t get 'on with my 'sister.


put smb up look after smb or smth come round make smth up look at smb or smth listen to smth take after smb wait for smb or smth pull smth down put smth off look for smb or smth bring smb up take off a. The manager has _______ the meeting ______ until tomorrow. b. _______ that man in the funny hat! c. His parents died when he was six, so really his grandmother ______him _____. d. I’m ______ the scissors, I can’t find them anywhere. e. Lynne _______ for a chat this afternoon. f. I don’t know what’s happened to Kevin. We’ve been _______ him for the last two hours and he’s not usually late. g. When she hasn’t got anyone to play with she often _______ imaginary friends. h. _______ that noise outside! i. Could you possibly ______me _______ for the night when I come down to London for my interview? j. The plane ________ but had to make an emergency landing again almost immediately. k. Both of the children ________ their mother’s side of the family. They’re not like their father at all. l. They’re going to ________ the old village church _________ you know. They say it’s a public danger.




Use the following multi-word nouns and verbs to fill the gaps I the following pairs of sentences. Remember that the noun and the verb often differ in meaning.

Repeat the sentences with the tape. What do you notice about the stress in multi-word nouns and verbs?


break-in make-up send-off break-down fall-out takeoff drop-out comeback sell-out lookout a. They’ve had another _______ next door. Fortunately nothing very much was stolen this time. Did they _______ through the back window then? b. Keep a _______ for a parking space, will you? _______ for pickpockets! c. She had a nervous ________ last year and had to give up her job. I hope our car doesn’t _________ again. d. I’d rather you didn’t use my _______ ! You left the top off the mascara and it’s all dried up now. Don’t let’s argue, darling. Let’s kiss and _______, shall we? e. He’s a university _____, you know. He left after only two years. She wants to ________ of the play. She says she’d had enough. f. If ever there’s a nuclear war, more people will die from radioactive ________ than from the explosion. I don’t want to ______ with you. I hate arguments. g. He does a wonderful ________ of Margaret Thatcher. He sounds just like her. Is the plane going to __________ soon? h. We gave the newlyweds a fantastic ________ - champagne, cake, tin cans tied to the car! It was perfect. the summer school in Rome looks interesting. I think I’ll ________ for a brochure. i. the Michael Jackson concert was a complete ________. There wasn’t a single ticket left. I’m sure we’ll _______ of these cards before Christmas, and we won’t be able to order any more before the New Year. j. This was the year that 1950’s heart-throb, Bart Pontoni, made his ________. Good-bye, Arthur. I’m leaving. Maybe one day I’ll _______ to you, but don’t count on it!


1. Intonation is a complex unity of speech melody (variations of pitch produced by the voice moving up or down), sentence stress (greater prominence given to some words in a sentence), voice quality (a special emotional colouring of the voice), rhythm (alteration of stressed and unstressed syllables) and tempo (the speed with which sentences or their parts are uttered).


2. Rhythm in English is based on the alteration of strongly and weakly stressed syllables. The important feature is that stressed syllables occur at fairly equal intervals. The unstressed syllables between stressed ones have to be fitted in. The more unstressed syllables there are between the stressed ones, the more weakly and rapidly they are pronounced.


e.g. The 'students are ' interested in im ' proving their 'speech 'rhythm.


Words with double stress may lose one of their stresses due to the rhythm.


e.g. ' number seven' teen

'seventeen 'students


Some notional parts of speech, which are normally stressed, may lose their stress under the influence of rhythm.

e.g. 'How 'many do you need?

'How many 'rooms do you need?

A stressed syllable together with the preceding or following unstressed syllables forms a rhythmic group; each rhythmic group takes approximately the same time to pronounce.


Do the following exercises:

Practise reading the following phrases. Each time the number of unstressed syllables between the two stressed ones will be different. Make sure you can fit the unstressed syllables in to say the phrases rhythmically.



1. Try again.

Hurry up.

Where’s your hat?

I want to know.

It’s quite all right.

It doesn’t matter.

2. I wanted to know.

Send me a card.

What have you done?

I’ve finished my lunch.

It’s very unfair.

I’m glad you have come.


3. I think it’ll be fine.

I didn’t know the way.

I wanted you to write about it.

It’s not the one I borrowed.

You’re wanted on the phone.

The children are in bed.


4. Walking along the road.

Why didn’t you run away?

Multiply it by three.

What’s the name of the book?

Coming back home again?

Remember what I told you.



Children love toys.

Children play with toys.

The children will play with toys.

The children will play with some toys.

The children will play with some new toys.

The children are playing with some new toys.

The children will be playing with some new toys.



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