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May 7, 2017

How to Answer Questions on Emphatic Stress in Use of English Exams
It is very rare to see a Secondary School English exams 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 from Emphatic Stress. That is why students sitting for either of these exams must have a knowledge of this topic.

Questions on Emphatic Stress are the simplest but students still fail them. This is because they are yet to have an understanding of 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 exam, the word that is emphasised or the word that carries the emphatic stress is usually capitalised.
For example:
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 have been A. If the emphasis was on "wife", the answer would have been B. If the emphasis was on "always", the answer would have been 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 emphasised 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!


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  1. Anonymous14 May, 2017

    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

    1. In this case, because of the the sentence structure of the question, option B suits best.

  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.

  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?

  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