Words with Tricky Stresses

Words with Tricky Stresses

Record” and “to record,” “export” and “to export,” “rebel” and “to rebel“… What do all these pairs have in common? Take “record” and “to record” for example. The words look identical, but they sound different, mostly because the stress falls on the first syllable in the noun “record,” and on the second syllable in the verb “to record“: /ˈrekɔː(r)d/ and /rɪˈkɔː(r)d/. Read on for more pairs like this.


Export /ˈekspɔː(r)t/ vs. to export /ɪkˈspɔː(r)t/:

Singapore exports large quantities of rubber.

The existence of demand for the coffee in international market fosters the increase of export of coffee from Indonesia.


Import /ˈɪmpɔː(r)t/ vs. to import /ɪmˈpɔː(r)t/:

We import most of our coal from other countries.

China must produce more food to reduce its reliance on imports.


Rebel /ˈreb(ə)l/ vs. to rebel /rɪˈbel/:

It’s natural for teenagers to rebel.

Many teenagers are rebels.


Desert /ˈdezə(r)t/ vs. to desert /dɪˈzɜː(r)t/:

The Sahara Desert is the biggest in the world.

People are deserting the countryside to work in towns.


Object /ˈɒbdʒekt/ vs. to object /əbˈdʒekt/:

Local residents objected to the proposed development.

There are 6,000 objects in the museum’s collection.


Suspect /ˈsʌspekt/ vs. to suspect /səˈspekt/:

He was suspected of drug dealing.

The suspect is now under guard in the local hospital.


Subject /ˈsʌbdʒɪkt/ vs. to subject /səbˈdʒekt/:

He has plenty to say on the subject.

In prison, he was subjected to beatings and interrogations.


Protest /ˈprəʊtest/ vs. to protest /prəˈtest/:

She resigned in protest against the company’s unfair policies.

Workers are protesting against high unemployment and inflation.


Deliberate /dɪˈlɪb(ə)rət/ vs. to deliberate /dɪˈlɪbərt/:

I’m sure the omission of my name was deliberate.

The jury deliberated for six hours before reaching its verdict.


Record /ˈrekɔː(r)d/ vs. to record /rɪˈkɔː(r)d/:

Try to keep a record of everything you eat this week.

They were asked to record the time at which the attack happened.

Refer to this post when you have doubts about the stress in the words above. We hope this it has been helpful. Thank you for reading! 😉

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