Did you know that some English words change their meaning if you change the syllable stress? For example, there is a huge difference between CON-tent and con-TENT! With 14 examples of this amazing phenomenon, this lesson is a PER-fect way to per-FECT your English!
After watching, you can download and print the resource page which contains 30 more examples for you to practice: http://www.engvid.com/english-resource/35-words-stress-changes-meaning/
There is also a quiz to test your understanding at: http://www.engvid.com/
Hello. This is Gill at www.engvid.com, and today, we're going to be having a look at a very interesting aspect of the English language: What happens with some words if you stress a different syllable. Okay? This is quite important, because sometimes the change of stress just changes a noun to a verb, or a verb to a noun, but there are some other words which we will also be looking at where the meaning of the word completely changes if you change which syllable you're stressing. Okay. So this is quite important to be clear on which syllable to stress for the particular meaning that you want. Okay.
So, we're going to start with the easier part, which is a two-syllable word, so two syllables: "mm-mm, mm-mm", two syllables where if you stress it on the first syllable where I've put capital letters, it's the noun; and if you stress it on the second syllable, again, capital letters, it becomes the verb. The general meaning is the same with this group of words, but you're changing from noun to verb when you're changing the stress. Okay? So it's important to know whether you're saying a noun or a verb. So remember it's always the first stress syllable is the noun, second syllable stressed is the verb.
Okay, so let's have a look at the example, here. So, a "RE-cord", if you keep a record of something or if you play a record that has music on it in the days when we used to have black plastic records that went round and round on a gramophone or a record player. A "record" is something recorded, or if you write down in a document, you make a note of something, you make a... You keep a record of something that happened, or something that was agreed. Maybe in a meeting somebody keeps a note of the discussion of the meeting, and then they print it out and send it to everyone who was at the meeting as a record of that meeting, what was discussed, what was agreed, and so on. So, the "record", that's the noun: "the record", "a record" is the noun. But if you then change the stress and say: "re-CORD", that becomes the verb. We are going to record a song. So if you're making a CD, now, rather than a black plastic record that goes around, a CD, we are going to record the new song that we've written. Or at the meeting, we will record the agreement. So, that is the verb, the action of recording. If you say: "recording", "recording", it's the "cord" bit that you stress. But a record is the thing itself, the noun. Okay. And you'll also notice the vowel sound changes slightly, because you're changing the stress. So: "record", "eh", the "eh" sound, but "record", "a", it becomes an "a" sound, here. "RE-cord", "re-CORD", so sometimes with the change of stress, the vowel sound changes, too. Okay.
Right, next one: "SUS-pect" and "sus-PECT". Right? So, "suspect", if someone is a suspect, they are usually, maybe the police think that they committed a crime. We have caught the suspect. We are questioning a suspect of someone who maybe stole something from a shop, and then somebody identifies them later, and that is a suspect. So that's the noun, the person, usually, is a suspect. If you suspect someone, if you do the action of suspecting, the police suspect this person of having committed that crime. So, we suspect, if you do the action of suspecting. So: "SUS-pect" is the noun, "sus-PECT" is the verb, the action of having suspicion about somebody. Okay.
"IM-port" and "im-PORT". An import or the import is some product that is imported from one country to another. We have imports. The goods themselves, the products, which arrive by plane, or ship, that's the import. Okay? The thing itself. But the action is we import these goods on a daily basis. We are importing the goods. So the action is import. All right?