Wednesday, June 5, 2013

10 MORE Examples of how STRESS can change the meaning or part of speech of a word

Here are 10 more examples words that change meaning or part of speech depending on word stress.  This is an extension of a previous blog post that can be found here.

As already stated in the previous post, t is crucial to know where to place the appropriate stress or intonation of many words in English, as the meaning of a word or its part of speech can change.
Pay close attention to which syllables (the first or second) carry the stress and what part of speech each word is (verb or noun).  Do you notice any pattern in these two syllable words?  Well, as you can see in these examples, if the stress is on the first syllable, it is a noun, and if the stress is on the second syllable, it is a verb. 

Remember that when speaking English, stress is a crucial element in pronunciation, so always pay close attention to which syllable carries the stress.

1. Addict

  • aDDICT (v.):  Many people become addicted to alcohol or drugs after suffering a tragedy.
  • Addict (n.):  As there is heroin readily available in Afghanistan, you will find many addicts.

2. Compact

  • comPACT (v.):  My neighbor owns a device that compacts trash to create more space for garbage. 
  • COMpact (n.):  The Smart car is the most famous of all compact car designs.

3. Default

  • deFAULT (v.):  It is absolutely imperative that you don't default on your loan--you must make the payment.
  • DEfault (n.):  The default in payments to the insurance company increased his monthly premiums.

4.  Extract

  • exTRACT (v.): During the Gold Rush, pioneers extracted gold from mines in California.
  • EXtract (n.): Flower extracts are used in the production of perfume.

5. Insult

  • inSULT (v.): Please don't insult me in front of the guests!
  • INsult (n.): In China burping is not considered an insult, on the contrary it is a compliment to the cook!

6. Mismatch

  • misMATCH (v.): Unfortunately, they mismatched the names and corresponding contacts, causing great confusion.
  • MISmatch (n.): The blind date ended up being a disastrous mismatch!

7. Overlap

  • overLAP (v.): John overlapped his clients appointments and ended up with two people in his office at the same time.
  • OVERlap (n.): The overlap of the fabrics in the dress created a nice texture.

8. Rewrite

  • reWRITE (v.): The author had to rewrite the entire manuscript as it was lost in the plane crash.
  • REwrite (n.): The editor was not satisfied with the rewrite of the second edition.

9. Torment

  • torMENT (v.): Nightmares of the tornado tormented him day and night.
  • TORment (n.): She could no longer bear the torment of breaking up and getting back together one more time.

10. Transplant

  • transPLANT (v.): The gardener transplanted the tree from the backyard to the front yard where there was more sun.
  • TRANSplant (n.): She was the first human being ever to receive a successful face transplant.



  1. thank you very much

  2. thank you very much

  3. Replies
    1. I've never seen the spelling Chorea...!? Only Korea with a 'k'. Thanks for reading :)

  4. Chorea is not a different spelling of Korea, although it's pronounced the same with different stress. Chorea is a disease: "a neurological disorder characterized by jerky involuntary movements affecting especially the shoulders, hips, and face."

  5. Can you please give me a five words whose meaning are change when stress is shifted

    1. 1. InCREASE (Verb) and INcrease (Noun)
      2. PROduce (noun) and proDUCE (verb)

  6. Replies

  7. This is so helpful

  8. i just wanna ask if you have a shift juncture
    and this it is so helpful

    1. A shift juncture is, for example, a name vs. an aim. The examples on this post have to do with syllables within one word, not the separation of words.



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