Learn how to pronounce the words FERTILE, FERTILIZE, FERTILITY; EQUAL, EQUALIZE, EQUALITY with this American English Pronunciation Lesson.


FERTILE means capable of producing.

EQUAL means being the same amount, size, or volume.


FERTILE: fer-dul or /ˈfɜrtəl/

FERTILIZE: fer-duh-lize or /‘fɜrtəˌlaɪz/

FERTILITY: fer-til-uh-dee or /fərˈtɪləti/

EQUAL: ee-kwul or /ˈikwəl/

EQUALIZE: ee-kwuh-lize or /ikwəˌlaɪz/

EQUALITY: ee-kwal-uh-dee or /ɪˈkwɑləti/


Hello everyone it’s Jennifer with Tarle speech with your question of the week. Our question today is about adding suffixes to words and we have two words to talk about this. Our words are fertile and equal. So when we are talking about prefixes and suffixes, we always have to think about the root word or the main word. So our main word here is fertile and equal. So to pronounce these words we are going to stress syllable one in both of these root words. So we have fer dull and e kwul.

So fertile and equal. Now most of the time when we add a prefix or a suffix to a word the root word, stress does not change, and we see this when we add this ize suffix and we have fer duh liz and e kwuh liz.

So we’re still going to have the stress on syllable one. There is a difference that you might be seeing and hearing in these words and that is that we’re going to use this short uh sound in the middle of the word, that schwa sound. And the reason is, is that as words get longer, the beats get shorter , and so we’re oftentimes going to have that short quick schwa sound in a longer word. So we have fertilize and equalize. So we have fertile and fertilize; equal equalize. sS you can hear I’m stressing syllable one and making that louder, longer, and higher in both of these cases.

Now we have some suffixes, some additions to the end of words, that we call stress exception suffixes. They impose a new stress rule and we see that when we add the i t y suffix. I have some other videos on this. I like to teach it as ity is pronounced uh dee uh dee

So again we have that schwa here, that uh sound. And then we have that long d with that long e vowel at the end. uh deeuh dee. When you see i t y we are going to pronounce it as uh dee. Now what happens to the stress? You can see I have it underlined. It’s a little tell for you. We’re going to shift the stress to right before the uh dee ending. So it’s going to be fer till adi and equality. So fertility and equality.

So let’s listen to all of these and I want you to listen from top to bottom. It remains the same for the first two and then shifts for the last two. So we have
fertile fertilize fertility
equal equalize equality

So again we have
fertile fertilize fertility
equal equalize equality

So again most of the time when we add a suffix to a word, the root word or the main word stays the same in terms of word and syllable stress. But we are going to shift that stress in some cases and we see that with this i t y suffix which we pronounce as uh dee and we are going to stress the syllable right before that ending.

So one more time all the way through.
fertile fertilize fertility
equal equalized equality

So give it a try I know people are going to notice the difference. If you found this helpful please share us with your friends. If you’re looking for more help check out our products on google play iTunes and our classes at Tarle speech.

Thank you everyone!