For example these two words mix my mind about pronunciation.

excite -> excitation ("excit" section pronounced the same)

suicide -> suicidal ("suicid" section pronounced differently)

  • 2
    The second syllable of excitation is not pronounced like the second syllable of excite. On the other hand, the main difference in the pronunciation of the first three syllables of suicidal and the word suicide is the placement of the emphasis, at least according to my experience and en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/suicidal -- could you be more specific about how you pronounce these words, and why? – David K Apr 3 '18 at 11:45
  • The roots tell you very little; the spelling not much more. On the whole, all that will help you is general rules of accentuation in English (eg antepenultimate stress; some suffixes, such as '-ic' drawing the stress to the penult; prefixes generally unstressed; trisyllabic laxing) but all of these have exceptions. – Colin Fine Apr 3 '18 at 11:51
  • You decide it based on the way it's pronounced. – Hot Licks Apr 3 '18 at 12:35

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