Hey, there! Today we’re going to talk about Spanish accentuation rules. This post talks about where to put the emphasis on each different word when you speak Spanish. That is what we call the accents in Spanish.
Firstly, what is an accent?
All the words have accents. The accent is “the strong syllable”. Sometimes, we need to mark this syllable with a graphic sign. The name of this graphic sign in Spanish is “tilde“. But, how do we know if the word needs this mark?
Classification of words according to their accentuation
In Spanish, we have four kinds of words according to their accent. If the accent is on the last syllable, the word is “aguda“. And, if this word ends with “n”, “s” or a vowel, the word needs the graphic mark. Examples of this are words like canción, oración, diversión. Examples of words “agudas” but without accent are “actitud”, “latitud”, all the infinitive forms of the verbs (“hablar”, “caminar”, “correr”, “sentir”).
Rules for accents in Spanish
- If the accent is in the penultimate syllable, the word is “grave“. And, if this word doesn’t end with “n”, “s” or a vowel, the word needs the graphic mark. Examples of this are words like “fácil“, “difícil“, “carácter“. Examples of words “graves” but without accents are “perro“, “gato“, all the gerunds (“hablando“, “caminando“, “corriendo“, “sintiendo“).
- If the accent is in the antepenultimate syllable, the word is “esdrújula“. These words always need a graphic mark. Examples of this are words like “brújula“, “último“, “típico“, “único“.
- Last but not least, if the accent is in the previous to the antepenultimate syllable, it is the word “sobreesdrújula“. Most of these words are adverbs that end with “mente“. Like “hábilmente“, “cálidamente“, “fácilmente“, “suavemente“.
Sound out, before you accent out
In conclusion, in order to learn how to use the accents, first, you have to know the correct sound of the word. That’s why this theme if one of the last we study in Spanish classes.
If you want to know more about this, contact us for your trial lesson. See you in the next post!