Word Stress Levels
In long words, it is often necessary to stress more than one syllable. For example, the word indivisibility has more than one stressed syllable. However, not all of the stressed syllables are given the same importance: there exists more than one level of stress in English. In this example, the syllable bil is the one is stressed the most, which is called primary stress. The syllable in receives what is called secondary stress, and the syllable vi tertiary stress.
|1. Primary stress||BI|
|2. Secondary stress||in|
|3. Tertiary stress||vi|
It is important to keep in mind that several syllables can be stressed in ‘long’ words; but for our purposes on this website, we will focus mainly on the primary stress, and partially on the secondary stress.