Spanish Orthographic Accent

Definition: Spanish Orthographic accent is the sign (´) which is called tilde. This punctuation mark is placed on the vowels (á, é, í, ó y ú).

Sometimes orthographic accents are used to distinguish two related words depending on how they work in a sentence. For example, the east means “this” like adjective whereas this one means “this” like pronoun.

The stressed syllable in Spanish words is either prosodic (prosódico) stress is unaccented or orthographic (ortográfico) accents point out the exceptions to the rules and require an accent mark.

Note: Orthography is an important part of grammar in many languages, because one obvious punctuation, the meaning of that word changes so one must be aware of punctuation in French, Germany, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese Grammar.

Orthographic Accent in Spanish

Accents are classified as:

Agudas (Oxytone): These are words that have the written accent in the last syllable, for example, café. Words ending in “n”, “s” or vowels with stress in the final syllable require an accent mark:

Example:
  • I like coffee.
  • Me gusta el ca.

  • This watch is cheap.
  • Este reloj es barato.

  • My father took a trip.
  • Mi pa to un viaje.

  • Your mom is very kind.
  • Tu ma es muy amable.

  • She will travel to Paris.
  • Ella viaja a París este mes.
Graves (Paroxytone): These kind of words have the orthographic accent in the penultimate syllable, for example: Árbol. If these words ends in a consonant different than “n” or “s”, they have the stress in the penultimate syllable and they have to use a tilde in that sillable.

Examples:
  • A four-leaf clover is of good luck.
  • Un trébol de cuatro hojas es de buena suerte.

  • The wood of an oak tree is the best.
  • La madera de un árbol de roble es la mejor.

  • The French food is one of the best around the world.
  • La comida francesa es una de las mejores alrededor del mundo.

  • She bought a new encyclopedia.
  • Ella compró una nueva enciclopedia.

  • He is an angel.
  • Él es un ángel.
Esdrújulas (Proparoxytone): All words with stress in the antepenultimate symbol require an accent mark.

Example:
  • A tear of happiness.
  • Una grima de felicidad.

  • She never turns on her phone.
  • Ella nunca prende su tefono.

  • Your mistake was caotic.
  • Tu error fue caótico.

  • Your dad usually buys the newspaper.
  • Tu papá usualmente compara el periódico.

  • She studied political sciences.
  • Ella estudia ciencias poticas.

Sobresdrújulas: All words with stress in the syllable before the antepenultimate require an accent mark.

Example:
  • Please, bring me their notebooks.
  • Por favor, tráiganme sus cuadernos.

  • You want to believe you, prove it
  • Quieres que te crea, demuéstramelo.


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