Spanish course: how to accentuate it

Spanish has become one of the most popular languages to learn in recent years.  More and more companies are asking for this language as their main or second language. For this reason is a good idea come to Spain for doing a Spanish course. However, Spanish can be complicated. In addition to all verb forms and conjugations, the most challenging aspect is  accents.

Tildes is one of the most complicated things when you are learning Spanish. What's more, Spanish people don't completely control it. However, there are some very simple rules that if you learn them, you will control the accents and succeed when you are asked for a written test.

Spanish course: When should I put an accent 

There are three types of words in Spanish: agudas, llanas and esdrújulas each of which has its own rules of accentuation. The words agudas are those whose last syllable is pronounced with the greatest force. Llanas have strong pronunciation in the penultimate syllable and esdrújulas in the antepenultic. However, although there are few of them in Spanish, you can also find a word for "sobresdrújula," which means that the force is in the syllable before the penultimate syllable.

  • Words agudas have an accent when they end in -n, in -s or in vowel: ball (balón), compass (compás), coffee (café), hummingbird (Colibrí). But if they end in -s preceded by another consonant, they are written without a tilde: robots (robots). Not do agudas words ending in -Y have an accent, since this letter is considered consonant for the purposes of accentuation: (estoy).
  • Words llanas have a tilde when they dont end in -n, in -s or in vowel: climax (clímax), skillful (hábil). They are also accentuated when they end in -s preceded by another consonant: bíceps (bíceps), comics (cómics), fórceps (fórceps); and when they end in -y, since this letter is considered consonant for accentuation purposes: póney, yóquey.
  • The words esdrújulas and sobresdrújulas always have an accent: pitcher (cántaro), mechanics (mecánica), eat it (cómetelo).

Exceptions to the basic rules

As with all rules, there are exceptions to these as well. In our Spanish course yo will learn, but there are the most important:

  • Monosyllables are never accentuated: “fue”, “vio”, “dios”. Observe the difference between "vio", which is monosyllable, and "rió", which is acute bisyllable, then has an accent.
  • Adverbs ending in -mente are accentuated according to the previous rules applied to the word that results from eliminating the suffix: from "fácil" = "fácilmente", from "grave" = "gravemente". Maintain the rule of before adding the termination -mente.
  • The first components of the compound words are not accentuated, unless they are separated by a hyphen: "asimismo", "físico-químico".
  • When a verb is postponed pronouns, the general rules apply to the compound, but if the verb without pronouns had an accent, it is preserved even if the rules do not require it: “coge” = “cógelo”, “sostén” = “sosténlo”.
  • If a word ends in two consonants, the general rules apply to the word that results from eliminating the last one. So, it is “Saez”, but “Saenz”.
  • If one syllable has to have an accent and has two vowels, there are two possibilities:
    • If one of the vowels is a, e, o, it has the accent: estáis, Damián, óigame, dióselo.
    • If the vowels are ui, iu, the second one is accented: cuídate, interviú.
  • The case that is missing cannot be given: two contiguous vowels, none of which is an -i or a -u are never part of the same syllable. Thus, nucleus is esdrújula and created is acute (not monosyllable).
  • Words with hiatus formed by a tonic closed vowel and an atonic open vowel (or by an atonic open vowel and a tonic closed vowel) always have tilde on the closed vowel and therefore do not depend on the general rules of accentuation: reuse, fall.
  • Now that you know the rules and exceptions, you'll see that it's much easier to learn when to accent words. Try it!