Accent of 'refer'


Senior Member
There appears to be two patterns for accent of 'refer'.
One is to stress on the first syllable, And the other one stress on second syllable.
I'd consider it a great favor if someone tells me which they stress on.
And I have a further question on this matter.
If someone puts stress on second syllable, do they also stress on second ones with 'referring', 'refference' and so on.
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    As far as I know, if you use the verb refer, the stress is always on the second syllable. (I think I have occasionally heard Indian English speakers stress the first syllable, but I would consider that pronunciation to belong to the less confident speakers of Indian English.) The stressed doesn't change if you add -ing so referring is stressed on the second syllable. (This is the reason <r> is double. The doubling generally only occurs when the syllable is stressed.)

    Reference is different and gets first-syllable stress. When you add derivational inflections (usually affixes that change the word class, say from a verb to a noun; and affixes that change the meaning of the word), the stressed syllable might change. Compare this with: PHOtograph, phoTOGraphy, photoGENic.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    I'm sorry for my slow reply, and thank you very much for your response.
    It was astonishing that the double spelling generally only occurs when its syllable os stressed!