Different stressed in russian

The Russian language has a huge amount of words, the meaning of which depends on the stress. These are peculiar pairs, which linguists call homographs. A homograph (from the Greek: ὁμός, homós, “same” and γράφω, gráphō, “write”) is a word that shares the same written form as another word but has a different meaning.

Stress plays an important role in the Russian language. If you want people to understand you correctly it is necessary to know the place of the stress in the words.

Stress in the Russian language may fall on any part of the word (beginning, centre or end) and it is not shown in texts. In some words you only need to change the stress and the word assumes a different meaning or grammatical value of the word. Moreover, there are no rules that show you which syllable has to be stressed. One exception is letter “ё” which is always stressed.
Here are some words which are important to pronounce correctly:
• за́мок (castle) – замо́к (lock)
• тру́сы (cowards) – трусы́ (underpants)
• ви́ски (whiskey) – виски́ (temples – the flat part of either side of the head between the forehead and the ear)
• че́рти (devils) – черти́ (to draw – imperative)
• звоно́к (bell) – зво́нок (sonant)
• се́ло (has/have set) – село́ (village)
• писа́ть (to pee) – пи́сать (to wright)
• мука́ (flour) – му́ка (throe)
• стои́т (stand) – сто́ит (cost)
• хло́пок (cotton) – хлопо́к (clap)
• а́тлас (atlas) – атла́с (satin)
• ду́хи (spirits) – духи́ (perfume)
• в ду́ше (in a shower) – в душе́ (in soul)
• бе́лки (squirrels) — белки́ (protein)
• господа́ (gentlemen) — го́спода (Christ)
• ве́сти (news) – вести́ (to lead)
• до́рог (expensive) — доро́г (roads)
• со́рок (forty) — соро́к (magpie)
• орга́н (organ as a large musical instrument having rows of tuned pipes sounded by compressed air) – о́рган (organ as a part of an organism such as the heart or liver in humans)
• про́пасть (abyss) – пропа́сть (lose, go to the bad, go to pieces)

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of tips we can give you to make them easier to learn. You should always memorise Russian words together. You can learn the stress of the word when you look it up in the dictionary or different resources. We can recommend this useful web-site: https://easypronunciation.com/en/add-stress-marks-to-russian-text. And, of course, listen to lots and lots of conversations by native speakers (radio, movies and video work just as well).
It’s seems like a lot of work, but we promise that further down the road it will become easier as you start seeing some patterns and becoming able to guess the correct accentuation.

Evgeniya Mullieva
26.12.2017
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