Learn Syllable Stress Patterns

In order to speak English clearly….in a way that Americans will easily understand….you absolutely MUST learn to speak using the correct syllable stress patterns!

The problem is that most people born outside North America never learned these patterns. So if this information is new to you….well…it’s really not your fault!

That said, here are two patterns that are fairly common in spoken American English:

In words ending with the suffixes ion, ity, ic, ical, ian, ial & tion we typically stress the FIRST syllable BEFORE the suffix.

Lengthen the vowel in this syllable and raise your pitch a little bit. The vowel length and rise in pitch will help your American listener to hear that syllable clearly.

  • inVAsion
  • inforMAtion
  • fanTAStic
  • fiNANcial
  • oFFIcial
  • GLORious
  • LOgical

In words ending with the suffix ate we stress the FIRST or SECOND syllable BEFORE the suffix.

  • aPPREciate
  • DELegate
  • DOnate
  • LOcate
  • aSSOciate


My accent reduction coaching clients always tell me that using syllable stress patterns correctly REALLY allows them speak American English more clearly.

Once you learn these syllable patterns you must:

1) listen for them in daily conversations ✔

2) try to use them in your own speech ✔


If you are just starting to learn about syllable stress, my iPad book, American Accent Fundamentals, teaches you how to use syllable patterns using clear rules, diagrams and dialogs.

This iBook is available at the iBookstore  in 60+ countries in North America, Europe, South America & Japan.

It’s an excellent guide for anyone who needs to learn about syllable stress and other KEY FEATURES of the American accent. ✰

Take a look here ☛ American Accent Fundamentals iBook. iPad users will find this book very convenient and easy to use. All the audio files are built into the book.

If you purchase a copy of my iBook, send me an email message and I’ll send you a copy of the accompanying WORKBOOK at no charge.

I hope that you found some helpful information here today. To learn MORE about syllable stress, just click on one of the posts below! ⬇