How to Answer Questions on Emphatic Stress in Use of English Exams

emphatic stress
It is very rare to see a Secondary School English exam without questions on Emphatic Stress. WAEC, NECO, NABTEB or JAMB makes sure that their objective test questions on Use of English don't get to candidates without the inclusion of questions on Emphatic Stress. That is why students sitting for either of these exams must understand this topic.

Questions on Emphatic Stress are the simplest, but students still fail them. This is because they are yet to understand the topic (Emphatic Stress), hence the need for this tutorial.

Emphatic stress is a stress placed on a particular word in a phrase or clause for clarity or emphasis. In WAEC's, NECO's, NABTEB's and JAMB's Use of English exams, the word that is emphasized or the word that carries the emphatic stress is usually capitalized.
Tammy's girlfriend is always STUNNING.

In the example above, "stunning" carries the emphatic stress.

How Does WAEC, NECO, NABTEB or JAMB Set Their Questions on Emphatic Stress?

Questions on emphatic stress by these examination bodies take the same format. For instance, you might be asked to choose the option that carries the emphatic stress in the question below.

Tammy's girlfriend is always STUNNING.
A. Is Emeka's wife always stunning?
B. Is Tammy's sister always stunning?
C. Is Tammy's wife always beautiful?
D. Is Tammy's wife occasionally stunning?

How Do I Know the Correct Option in the Options Above?

It is very simple. Since the word that has the emphatic stress is "stunning", the option that does not have "stunning" becomes the correct answer. In the question above, the emphasis is on "stunning", so the answer will be an option without "stunning". Therefore, the answer is C. 

If the emphasis was on "Tammy's", then the answer would be A. If the emphasis was on "wife", the answer would be B. If the emphasis was on "always", the answer would be D.

Things to Note while Choosing Your Answer.

In order to choose your answers correctly, it is very important you take note of the following:

1. Take note of the word that is emphasized in the question. The word that is emphasised is usually capitalised.

2. When choosing your answer, choose the option that does not have the capitalised word. All the options except one carry the capitalised word in the question. The one without the capitalised word is the correct option.

3. You are good to go.

Are you still confused, kindly use the comment box to ask your question(s).

I wish you the best!


  1. What if none of them have the word in capital letter

  2. The secretary enjoys travelling AT NIGHT
    a. Did the secretary enjoy travelling by day
    b. Does the secretary enjoy travelling by day
    c. Who enjoys travelling by night
    d. Does the secretary hate travelling at night

    Two has day and two has night. what should be the answer

  3. our teacher is a PROUD man.
    a. is our teacher always proud?
    b. is our teacher a humble man?
    c. is our teacher a proud man?
    d. is our teacher a clever man?
    which is d correct option

    1. In this type of question, you look at the option that best contrasts the question. Therefore, option B is most suitable.

    2. Odunayo Temiloluwa15 Jun 2019, 07:40:00

      The correct answer is B

    3. Odunayo Temiloluwa15 Jun 2019, 07:40:00

      The correct answer is B

  4. Thanks but what if all the options contain the emphatic stress

  5. some dnt carry the capitalised word and still be the correct answer in jamb questions why

  6. Enter your comment...what is the answer to this question? ASA is a lawyer (a) is Asa a robber? (B)who is a lawyer? (C)is Asa the lawyer? (D) was Asa the lawyer?

    1. The answer is B cos when a person or group of person is emphasized and the capitalized word is the subject of the sentence, the interrogative pronoun 'WHO' would answer the question.

  7. femi's mother is a trader.. a) is femi's father a carpenter? b) what is his mother's profession? c) is femi's teacher a trader? d) what type of trader is femi's mother

  8. The bed is IN the room
    A. What is in the room
    B. Where is the bed
    C. Is the bed in the parlour
    D. What is in the parlour

  9. I love you bro... Just made it simple

  10. I swear i just understood this topic now

    Am still avin issues on vowel and consonant sounds...
    Pls can any recommend me a site or blog dat would make me understand dis 2 topics

    1. Hello Rita, thanks for the feedback. As regards consonants and vowels, we are currently working on them. You will see an article on consonants and vowels on the blog soon.

  11. Joshua Evidence24 Jun 2019, 17:27:00

    Enter your comment...any idea on phonetic symbols

  12. You made the learning of this emphatic street so easy n simply, may God almighty bless you real good.Continue with the good work. More grease to your elbow. Thank you

  13. What if there are two options without the word in capital?

  14. Wow
    I thought it was hard by the name.
    But you have made it simple to my understanding. Thanks

  15. Thanks sir...
    Made it simple and lively ✔️

    God bless You