There are several word pairs consisting of a noun and a verb that are written and articulated the same; the noun generally has stress placed on the first syllable, and the verb on the second. For example, implant vs implant; subject vs subject; present vs present. However, I can't think of any three syllable word pairs which follow this pattern, including the stress shift. Are there any?

  • 1
    Looking at some wordlists online, I find attribute and invalid, where the first syllable is accented for a noun, and the second for a verb/adjective. There's also implicate, where the first syllable is accented for a noun/adjective, and the third for a verb. There are probably more. Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 20:58
  • Hmm. I’m not familiar with “implicate” as a noun, and many dictionaries don’t list that definition at all. Also, they seem to say that the primary accent in the verb “implicate” is on the first syllable. Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 22:55

2 Answers 2


There are several which don't follow the stress pattern:

  • intercept
  • interchange
  • overcount / undercount

Here are a couple where the pronunciation between the verb and noun is consistently different:

  • attribute (noun attribute; verb attribute)
  • envelope (noun envelope; verb envelope), though the verb is usually spelt without the final "e".

I suppose "entrances" is also worth mentioning, but these are two separate words with unrelated meanings and separate etymologies.

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    Why doesn't envelop(e) work? (Aside from the fact that the verb and noun are spelled differently). Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 21:01
  • Hmmm... having said them out loud, I agree, envelope is pronounced differently as a verb and a noun. The "e" at the end of the verb is usually omitted, but I believe is considered an accepted variation. (It's in wiktionary for example.)
    – tobyink
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 21:24
  • 2
    "Intercept" actually does shift stress, for me: while the first and last syllables are always at least partially stressed, the first syllable has primary stress in the noun, and the second syllable has primary stress in the verb.
    – herisson
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 21:19

The first syllable of “duplicate” is stressed as noun, verb, or adjective.  However, its pronunciation changes: similar to the “pre” in “present” and the “ope” in “envelope”, the “cate” in “duplicate” is pronounced as a “long a” (like “cape” or “cater”) in the verb, and like a “short i” (“kit”) in the noun and adjective.

  • +1 The same thing happens with advocate and syndicate, the stress switching from the last syllable in the verb to the first syllable in the noun.
    – 1006a
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 0:03

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