Rules for Spanish written accents


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THE WRITTEN ACCENT MARK



The written accent mark will be placed on one of the vowels of a syllable:

1. On the last syllable if it sounds accentuated, and the word finishes with:

- N:

leerán

le|e|rán

they will read

jamón

ja|món

ham

serán

se|rán

they will be

- S:

leerás

le|e|rás

you will read

jamás

ja|más

never

verás

ve|rás

you will see

- VOWEL:

leerá

le|e|rá

he will read

papá

pa|pá

father

tocó

to|có.

he touched


2. On the last but one syllable if it sounds accentuated and the word finishes with a consonant other than "N" or "S".

lápiz

lápiz

pencil

fácil

fácil

easy

difícil

di|fícil

difficult

mármol

már|mol

marble


3. On any other syllable preceding the last but one, if it sounds accentuated.

último

úl|ti|mo

last

número

núme|ro

number

práctico

prác|ti|co

practical

dígamelo

díga|me|lo

say it to me.



Special Rules


Some words, with only one or two syllables, have an accent to be distinguished from another of same spelling but with a different meaning.


from verb 'dar'

give

De

preposition

of

él

personal pronoun

he

El

article

the

Más

comparative

more

Mas

"Pero"

but

personal pronoun

you

Tu

possessive

your

pronoun after preposition

(for) me

Mi

possessive

my

from "saber" and "ser"

I know

Se

pronoun

him/her

Tea (drink)

Tea

Te

pronoun

you

affirmative and pronoun

yes /himself

Si

conjunction

if

Aún

adverb

still

Aun

"even"

even



+ all interrogative pronouns have an accent:

¿Qué? what?, ¿Dónde? where?, ¿Quién? who?...etc.


- If a strong vowel (a, e, o) forms a diphthong with a weak vowel (i, u), the accent mark will be placed on the strong vowel.

salió

sa|lió

went out

huésped

hués|ped

guest

tomáis

to|máis

you take

- If a weak vowel (i, u) does not form a diphthong with a strong vowel (a, e, o), the accent mark will be placed on the weak vowel.

maíz

ma|íz

corn

raíces

ra|íces

roots

María

Ma|ría

Mary