Single-syllable words can be formed using one letter or many letters.
In most English dictionaries, words that are more than one syllable are divided by a dot or space between the syllables.
Click on the example words to hear the difference between words with one, two, three, and four syllables.
|through||ex · it||po · ta · to||in · cred · i · ble|
English words that are polysyllabic (have more than one syllable) always have one syllable that is stressed. In most English dictionaries, the stressed syllable is indicated by a stress mark, a symbol that resembles an apostrophe. The stress mark follows the syllable that is stressed.
For example, in the word incredible, the second syllable (-cred-) is stressed. Here are some examples.
|ex ′ it||op ′ po · site||Feb ′ ru · ar · y|
|hu ′ mid||ex · am ′ ine||in · cred ′ i · ble|
|ma · chine ′||em · ploy · ee ′||psy · cho ′ lo · gy|
In English, most two-syllable nouns are stressed on the first syllable.
|A ′ pril||car ′ rot||hon ′ or||fa ′ ther|
|Mon ′ day||le ′ mon||e ′ vil||Mar ′ y|
Putting stress on the correct syllable is especially important for words that are both nouns and verbs. Usually, if the stress is placed on the first syllable it is a noun. If the stress is placed on the second syllable it is a verb.
|con ′ test||con · test ′|
|de ′ fect||de · fect ′|
|in ′ sert||in · sert ′|
|ob ′ ject||ob · ject ′|
|pre ′ sent||pre · sent ′|
|pro ′ test||pro · test ′|
|re ′ call||re · call ′|
|re ′ cord||re · cord ′|