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Where is the stress placed in the word commenting? Is it on the first or the second syllable? How do you pronounce it?

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3  
I am British. **Comm**enting would be my pronunciation. –  Karl Apr 17 '11 at 2:44
1  
It is stressed on the first syllable only. In other words, it's a dactyl. Note that this is different from commending, which is stressed on the second syllable. –  Robusto Apr 17 '11 at 12:03
    
@Robusto初夢 I can’t think of a verb where adding -ing ever changes the stress pattern. Can you? –  tchrist Jan 15 '12 at 15:51
    
@tchrist: Depends on the dialect, I guess. In some varieties of Southern U.S. speech, for example, the verb display stresses the first syllable, but displaying stresses the second, or at least makes the stresses equal. –  Robusto Jan 15 '12 at 16:14

4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

It's stressed on the first syllable. A similar looking word is "commencing", which is stressed on the second syllable.

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The stress is on the first syllable, as both descriptive and prescriptive linguists would agree.

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Light stress on first and third syllable.

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Light? First and third? Do elaborate please. –  RegDwigнt Apr 17 '11 at 2:54
    
I believe that Americans tend to put secondary stress on a lot more syllables than Brits. Hence the difference in pronunciation of words like "military". I believe this is one of these cases; secondary stress on the third syllable doesn't sound odd to me here. –  Peter Shor Jan 16 '12 at 1:26

I'm not a native English speaker, but I think the stress should be on the "m"(which I feel is read more comfortable): [kə'menting].

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As a non-native speaker I thought the stress should be on the "m", too. But, after a look at a dictionary, I released that it's on the first and third syllable. –  Ed. Brazil Apr 17 '11 at 10:34
    
@Ed. Brazil: Hi Ed, could you share the dictionary you turned to on this? I am always using Cambridge online dictionary(dictionary.cambridge.org) but I don't find an entry for "commenting". Hmm.. I should have done more googling before answering here.. :-) –  rob Apr 17 '11 at 11:09
    
It's the participle from the verb comment. When adding the "-ing" suffix to a verb to form the participle, the added syllable is always unstressed. –  psmears Apr 17 '11 at 12:54
    
The dictionary I use is this: dictionary.reference.com. You won't find "Commenting", you can find "Comment". But, if you see that the first syllable is stressed, after adding the suffix the first syllable will still be stressed. –  Ed. Brazil Apr 17 '11 at 14:05
    
If you did stress the second syllable of comment or commenting this would be a sure sign that you are not a native English speaker. Unlike some other languages, in English stress is both lexical (is part of the word and must be memorized) and phonemic (different stress produces different words, even if they have the same consonant sounds: as in desert and dessert.) –  ghoppe Apr 17 '11 at 22:44

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