Write the following sentences on the board and see if your students can correctly pronounce the word “conduct” in each sentence.
1. My conduct is always professional.
2. I conduct myself in a professional manner.
Tell your students that one tricky thing about English is that some words change pronunciation depending on whether we are using them as a noun or a verb.
In sentence 1, “conduct” is used as a noun. The stress is placed on the first syllable (CONduct).
In sentence 2, “conduct” is used as a verb. The stress is placed on the second syllable (conDUCT).
Provide your students with the chart below which lists some words that change pronunciation depending on whether they are a verb or a noun. English pronunciation, of course, varies geographically. The chart was designed to include common examples in American English.
Drill the pronunciation of the words both as a class and individually. Point out the pattern — the stress goes on the first syllable if it is a noun and the second syllable if it is a verb.
To practice, give students the sentences below. Give them a few minutes to read the sentences silently. Then, ask them to read the sentences aloud for the class. Listen to make sure they are pronouncing the words correctly.
1. There was a large increase in our Q3 sales numbers.
2. Our market share increased over the last year.
3. The speaker projected his voice in order to be heard.
4. This is one of the most difficult projects I have ever worked on.
5. Stanley attributed his success to his positive attributes.
6. I was insulted by the low offer they made me.
7. The package they offered me was an insult.
8. Because we did not have the necessary permits, we had to postpone the grand opening.
9. Smoking is not permitted in the building.
10. The annual conference conflicts with my vacation plans.
11. The customer service representative handled the conflict with the customer.
12. The proceeds from the auction will go to charity.
13. If there are no further questions, I’d like to proceed with the next part of my presentation.
14. She asked for a refund because the product was defective.
15. Should we refund their money?
16. This situation is a repeat of what happened last year.
17. I’m sorry, could you repeat that please?
18. They said that they are prepared to sign the contract.
19. The economy contracted last year.
20. I have to leave early today to buy Christmas presents for the kids.
21. Who is going to present next?