Do you know where accents go in Spanish? Well, you could memorize them word by word, but that could be a bit intimidating... ´
Or you could try the sprinkle approach, but thats not too reliable either... biblioteca escribiendome arbol limpiaparabrisas examenes facil ´´´´´´ ´´´´´´´´´ Nope…too many errors!!
Accents are easy! You only have to learn a few rules. Step 1: Count syllables First, Spanish has STRONG vowels and WEAK vowels. aeo iu Strong VowelsWeak Vowels Did you notice? Strong vowels (a, e, o) are short and round. They can support a lot of weight! Weak vowels (i, u) are tall and thin. You can knock them right over!!
Count syllables by counting vowels. Use the following formula: 1. Each strong vowel forms 1 syllable. ta re a 2. A weak vowel alone forms 1 syllable. fru ta ci ne 3. 2 or even 3 weak vowels together form 1 syllable ciu dad 4. Any combination of weak/strong or strong/weak forms 1 syllable bai le cie lo cuar to 5. A weak vowel with an accent is considered a strong vowel. Think of it as a crutch! With a little help, it can stand alone.
Count the syllables in each of the following words: despejado4 dinastía4 campaña3 lluvia2 terciopelo4 cuerpo2 horario3 trineo3
Step 2: Divide the words into syllables In Spanish, a syllable usually ends with a vowel, like this: li broor so bri no Exceptions! 1. Dont split ch, ll, or rr. Theyre separate letters in Spanish. 2. Do not divide any consonant next to l or r, unless its an s. con ti nú e de mo cra cia ver siónem ple a do
Now lets divide the same words into syllables: despejadodes pe ja do = 4 dinastíadi na stí a = 4 campañacam pa ña = 3 lluviallu via = 2 terciopeloter cio pe lo = 4 cuerpocuer po = 2 horarioho ra rio = 3 trineotri ne o = 3
Step 3: Learn the stress rules. Now that the syllables are divided, see where the stress should go when the word is pronounced. a) A word ending in a, e, i, o, u, n or s should be stressed on the next-to-the-last syllable (called penultimate - penúltimo en español) her ma na bai le ca si ca mi no ha blan ma ris cos
b) A word ending in any other consonant should be stressed on the last syllable. co ci nar ver dad ca pi tal re loj
For each of these divided words, choose the syllable that should be stressed when it is pronounced: ignore the pronunciation - just say what should be stressed! cli ni ca ki lo me tro ca pa ci dad sien te se ho rri ble di fi cil la pi ces gra cias a zu car ul ti mo in te res me lo dia mon ton
Step 4: Learn what accents can do. Accents serve several different purposes! a) They move the stress from where it should be based on the stress rules to where it actually is when pronounced. a zu car ´ ul ti mo ´ in te res ´
b) They turn a weak vowel into a strong vowel so that it can form a separate syllable. diadí aac tuanac tú an c) They distinguish certain words from others. Si = if sí = yes de = of/from dé = give!
d) They make a word interrogative. e) Some words always have accents - like más & sólo
Whew! Thats a lot of rules! But once you learn them, youll never wonder again if a word has an accent. Practice, and youll become an ACCENT MASTER. Now lets practice! Your teacher will give you a worksheet with a list of words. For each word... a) rewrite the word in the blank in separate syllables b) underline or highlight the syllable that should be stressed when it is pronounced c) listen to the word as it is pronounced and determine if it needs an accent - if it does, add it!
Check your work as your teacher goes over the words and tells you which actually have accents. Ahora sabes... dónde poner los