A dual-mass microelectromechanical (MEM) resonator structure is disclosed in which a first mass is suspended above a substrate and driven to move along a linear or curved path by a parallel-plate electrostatic actuator. A second mass, which is also suspended and coupled to the first mass by a plurality of springs is driven by motion of the first mass. Various modes of operation of the MEM structure are possible, including resonant and antiresonant modes, and a contacting mode. In each mode of operation, the motion induced in the second mass can be in the range of several microns up to more than 50 .mu.m while the first mass has a much smaller displacement on the order of one micron or less. The MEM structure has applications for forming microsensors that detect strain, acceleration, rotation or movement.