English Pronunciation: The Role Of MeaningEnglish Pronunciation: The Role Of Meaning

Pronunciation of words ending in "ate".

You can find our other related articles in this same directory. Among them are "Intonation in English: Expressions of Two Words", and "Intonation in English: The Noun and the Verb".

In these articles we saw that verbs of two syllables often have the stress fall on the second syllable, while the related noun has the stress on the first syllable.

These cases are examples of the effect that meaning has on INTONATION in English.

The present article shows how meaning has an affect on PRONUNCIATION, just as the previous articles dealt with INTONATION. In this case we will also learn a "rule".

Many native speakers do not know that there are "rules" of accent, stress, intonation, and pronunciation. English is not as crazy as we think. To know these "rules" can help you in building your vocabulary at the same time as you perfect your intonation and pronunciation. We write "rules" in quotes to indicate that there are always a few exceptions to such rules. They are not 100% accurate but they are a big help in most situations.

There are many words in English that end with the letters "ate". These words come from origins in the Latin language, and are very common in English. Words ending in "ate" are verbs, nouns, and adjectives.

Fortunately there is a "rule" that you can master. No matter if they are nouns, verbs, or adjectives, these words almost always have the accent on the "antepenultimate" syllable. That's a fancy way of saying "the syllable just before the next to the last syllable in the word". The difference is in the way the letters "ate" are pronounced.

Verbs ending in the letters "ate" pronounce the letter "a" with the "long a" sound (the name of the letter "a", the sound of the words "steak' and "make").

However, there are other words ending in "ate" that are not verbs. Related nouns or adjectives pronounce the letter "a" of the last syllable with the indefinite "schwa" sound (the sound of the "a" of the word "about", or the second "e" in the word "elephant"). Nouns and adjectives usually stress the antepenultimate (the one before the next-to-the-last) syllable,

For each word ending in "ate" in the following sentences, indicate that you realize the effect of meaning on pronunciation by clarifying the difference between the two uses of the same word ("same" meaning having the same spelling.)

The governor told his staff to separate the large document into separate categories

The professor said he would not elaborate on his elaborate explanation.

Their associate used to associate with many bankers.

I asked the carpenter to estimate the cost of the job. His estimate was low.

For the following words, indicate whether the word is a verb, noun or adjective, give a brief meaning of the word, and then observe how the letters "ate" are pronounced,

For the following words, indicate whether the word is a verb, noun or adjective, give a brief meaning of the word, and then observe how the vowel of the last syllable (that is, the letters "ate") are pronounced. Remember pronounce these words with the sound of the words "make", cake, etc. Nouns and Adjectives pronounce the vowel with the indeterminate sound, the schwa.

You can write me at the address given in the author's box if you want the results or if you have any questions.

deliberate - Adjective: on purpose, intended - schwa
deliberate - Verb: think seriously - "long a"
moderate - Adjective:, not extreme - schwa
moderate - Verb: To manage or control - "long a"



Good luck, for more help, search for my articles by my last name, Gerace, and take advantage for the resources on my websites.
by Frank Gerace
References and Bibliography
Frank Gerace Ph.D teaches English in New York. He helps with accent reduction and the American English accent at http://www.GoodAccent.com . He offers resources to Hispanic learners of English at http://www.InglesParaLatinos.com . He directs students to htttp://www.GoodAccent.com/accentbooks.htm
Rated:NR/0 Votes
Add To My Article Reading List
Add To My Article Reading List
Print Article
More Article By Frank Gerace
More Article by Frank Gerace
More Articles From Language
More Articles From Language
Related Articles and Readings
American English Listen and Learn Essential Differences By: Frank Gerace
The voiced and unvoiced consonants In this section we will try to clarify the difference between the voiced consonants and the unvoiced consonants.If you want to master English pronunciation you have to able to distinguish between these two types of consonants. This is necessary for you to learn the ...
Free Online English Lessons - English Progressive Verbs By: Blake Rayden
One of the most commonly use tenses in English is the progressive tense Fortunately the English rules for progressive tense are not very difficult to ...
Online English Lessons - Types of English Verbs By: Raymond Blakney
English is one of the most useful languages in the world It is the most widely spoken in the world of business, and the most useful for those people who want to ...
Effective English Teaching: Why Some Students Think The English Language Is A Boring Study Subject By: Mary Simmers
I hate to admit it, but back in my college days, when my English professor comes in to our class, all of us would start groaning It means all of us would have to endure 1 and a half hour of boring English language ...
Is speaking in public your fear? By: Harrylubanski
Does speaking in public or in front of huge crowd scare you? If yes, then this write up may prove to be a good read. ...
The information provided in this article and/or the comments is the sole responsibility of their respective authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of ezinepost.com. ezinepost.com  does not endorse any article and/or comments published by our web users unless otherwise noted. 

Member Panel

login to submit articles and more


  • » Active Categories: 419
  • » Active Articles:252603
  • » Active Authors:31917
  • » Active Members: 38237
  • » Statistics Updated:
    - Tue Sep 1st, 2020 09:28AM EST