Using a learner’s dictionary to find the word stress

In the last video, we looked at and listened to the word ‘station’.

‘Station’ is a two-syllable word. We make the first syllable stronger by making it longer, louder and higher.

This is how a learner’s dictionary shows the pronunciation of station: /ˈsteɪ.ʃən/

Let’s look at each part of this.

The pronunciation of a word is always shown between two slashes: /ˈsteɪ.ʃən/

The stronger sound is shown by this very small symbol / ˈ/. It always comes in front of the strong syllable: /ˈsteɪ.ʃən/

The other syllables are shown by a dot: /ˈsteɪ.ʃən/

Look at how the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary displays the pronunciation of station. Don’t forget to listen to the word.


Word stress comes in different positions in different words.

Let’s look at a three-syllable word: occasion.

Here is how the dictionary shows the pronunciation: /əˈkeɪ.ʒən/

We can see that the stronger sound is on the second syllable: /əˈkeɪ.ʒən/

Now go to the Cambridge Dictionary and look at and listen to the pronunciation.


Here’s a quiz.

Use the Cambridge Dictionary to find the word stress of these words:

  • computer
  • agree
  • disagree
  • important
  • meeting
  • necessary
  • magazine
  • employee

We will give the answers in the next blog on word stress.

By Louise and Barney


If you have any questions about this, leave a comment below.

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