Pronouncing verbs and nouns

دوره: لغات انگلیسی در شش دقیقه / اپیزود 29

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Pronouncing verbs and nouns

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So you want a salary increase? Who doesnt? But do you pronounce increase with the stress on the first syllable in , or the second syllable crease ? The answer depends on whether youre using increase as a noun or a verb... And thats the subject that Neil and Catherine are talking about in this 6 Minute Vocabulary programme.

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Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Catherine…

And I’m Neil. Oh… Catherine.

Catherine Yeah.

Neil A present?

Catherine Yes.

Neil How kind. It’s not even my birthday.

Catherine I know, Neil. But every day’s a present day in Learning English. Actually, I bought it because the word present is a key word for the topic we’re going to present in this programme…

Neil Ah… PREsent and preSENT. They are spelt same way but we say them differently.

Catherine That’s right, because today we’re talking about words that are spelt the same, but pronounced differently, depending on whether we’re using them as nouns or verbs.

Neil Like PREsent and preSENT. So the present you gave me is the noun.

Catherine That’s right. And we’re presenting 6 Minute Vocabulary - present here is a verb.

Neil We’ll be giving you more examples…

And we’ll have a quiz, so listen carefully …

And we’ll also bring you a top tip for learning vocabulary. And I’ve got an invite for Catherine to my party…

Catherine And it’s not even your birthday.

Neil It’s my birthday every day.

Catherine OK. I’ll come to your party then.

Neil Well, more about that invite later…

Catherine But first, let’s hear Lucy talking about Sam Smith, her favourite singer. Neil: Sam Smith. Are you a fan?

I wouldn’t say I’m a fan, but I’m aware of his work.

Catherine Oh good.

Neil Anyway, here’s Lucy. And she is a big Sam Smith fan. Think about this question while you listen: Will the number of people who want to go to his concerts go up, or down?

INSERT Lucy I really want to go to a Sam Smith concert but the tickets have already sold out. Sometimes when that happens, they increase the number of concert dates. I want to hear him sing ‘Stay with me’ - it won ‘Record of the Year’ at the Grammys. I hope he’ll record some new songs soon. But that will mean an increase in people wanting concert tickets.

So we asked you: Will the number of people who want to go to Sam Smith concerts go up, or will it go down?

And the answer is: it will go up. Lucy says there will be an increase in people wanting concert tickets.

Catherine Yes, and increase here is a noun, so the stress is on the first syllable: INcrease. But Lucy also used the same word as a verb. Listen to this clip. Where does the stress fall this time?

INSERT CLIP 1 Sometimes when that happens, they increase the number of concert dates.

Neil This time, the stress falls on the second syllable - inCREASE, because Lucy’s using the word as a verb.

Catherine Other nouns and verbs with the same spelling move the stress from the first to second syllable in the same way - like the noun DEcrease…

Neil …which becomes deCREASE, when it’s a verb.

Catherine …and there is, of course Neil, the INvite you gave me to your party…

Neil Yes, INvite here is a noun with the stress on the first syllable. But if I say to Catherine, I want to inVITE you to my party on Saturday, inVITE is a verb, with the stress falling on the second syllable… Don’t worry Catherine - I haven’t forgotten…

Catherine Nor have I, Neil! Looking forward to it. And here’s another clip from Lucy. Listen out for another word she uses as a noun and a verb with different stress patterns.


I want to hear him sing ‘Stay with me’ - it won ‘REcord of the Year’ at the Grammys. I hope he’ll reCORD some new songs soon.

Neil We had REcord and reCORD. REcord is the noun, so the stress is on the first syllable.

Catherine …And reCORD is the verb, so the stress is on the second syllable.

6 Minute Vocabulary, from BBC Learning English.

We’re talking about nouns and verbs that are spelt the same but pronounced differently, like a REcord and to reCORD.

Catherine And we stress the first syllable when the word is a noun, and the second syllable when the word is a verb.

And now, it’s time for a quiz, so get ready! Which is the correct way to say the missing word in these sentences? Number one: Michael Phelps has the [sfx: bell] for the most Olympic gold medals. Is it a) reCORD or b) REcord?

It’s REcord because it’s a noun.

Well done if you got that right. Number two: We hope that sales will [sfx: bell] this month. Is it a) INcrease or b) InCREASE?

And the answer is b) InCREASE because it’s a verb.

Neil And finally, number three: I need to buy a [sfx: bell] for my friends. They’re getting married tomorrow. Is it a) PREsent or b) preSENT?

Catherine It’s a) PREsent because it’s a noun.

And that’s the end of the quiz - well done if you got them right.

And it’s almost the end of the programme.

But before we go, here’s today’s top tip for learning vocabulary: when you look up a word in an online dictionary, listen to the audio and try to copy the word stress. If possible, record yourself saying the word, then compare your pronunciation with the audio from the dictionary.

Catherine There’s more about this at Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.


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