Why do nouns and verbs which are stressed differently all exhibit the same variation?

I recently stumbled upon an interesting quirk regarding words that are both nouns and verbs. They seem to all follow the same stress pattern. Here are a few examples:


  • I have a really long address.
  • There is a huge contrast between winter and spring.
  • Not a single object is blue.
  • I’m not very good at creating produce.


  • Make sure you address him properly.
  • I try to contrast the two twins in my head.
  • He will object to any change you propose.
  • Produce the paper right this instant!

Why do the nouns have stresses on the first syllable and the verbs have stresses on the last syllable? Is there a good reason for this, or is it just coincidence?

These are just the examples I thought of – I’m sure there are more. There are also some “noun/verb”s that have the same stress:

That was a huge surprise! Next time I’ll surprise you!

But I’ve yet to find a counterexample – one where the noun has an ending stress and the verb has a starting stress.


It does seem to be a common pattern, and has just seemed to “evolve” as such in to English. There’s even a wikipedia page on it:


Source : Link , Question Author : Anonymouse , Answer Author : Inazuma

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