Easy Italian Lesson 6: Accent Marks

Easy Italian Lesson 6 Accent Marks

ACCENT MARKS ON ITALIAN WORDS

Accent marks are not used much in Italian.

In this way, Italian is similar to English because accent marks are not used much in English.

As opposed to French and Spanish, both of which contain numerous accent marks.

ACCENT MARKS IN ENGLISH FROM ITALIAN

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

tiramisù (dessert) -- tiramisù -- [‘tiramisù’]

------------

ACCENT MARKS IN ENGLISH AND ITALIAN FROM FRENCH

A few words with accent marks in English and Italian were borrowed from French.

Also included are the Italian articles that precede Italian nouns, here to help you realize that these foreign words spelled like French and English really are Italian also.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY IN ITALIAN]

consommé -- il consommé -- [‘consommé’]

pâté -- il paté -- [‘paté’]

You may see these words on an Italian menu in Italy.

------------

ITALIAN ACCENT MARKS ON FINAL VOWELS

In Italian, only vowels have accents.

There are many words in Italian with an accent mark on the final vowel, including nouns, verb inflections, adverbs, etc..

Some are frequently used.

An accent mark is compulsory in this case, otherwise the stress on the final syllable would not be heard -- because in most Italian words the stress falls on the second-to-last syllable.

All vowels at the end of a word can have the accent (`).

Accent marks in Italian sometimes indicate which syllable should be stressed in speaking, especially stress on the final syllable.

Here are some examples:

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

menu -- menù -- [meh-NOO]

casino -- casinò -- [kah-zee-NOH]

gigolo -- gigolò -- [djee-goh-LOH]

-----

city -- città -- [cheet-TAH]

special (food) -- specialità -- [speh-see-ah-lee-TAH]

university -- università -- [oo-nee-vehr-see-TAH]

velocity / speed -- velocità -- [veh-loh-chee-TAH]

curiosity -- curiosità -- [koo-ree-oh-see-TAH]

virtue -- virtù -- [veer-TOO]

-------------

ITALIAN ACCENT MARKS ON FINAL VOWEL -E

Only the vowel “e” can have either (`) or (´) accent marks.

The difference lies only in the pronunciation. The è is pronounced as in “bell”, whereas é is pronounced as in “gourmet”.

Therefore, only é and è are normally contrasted, typically in words ending in -ché, such as perché meaning ‘why’ or ‘because’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY IN ITALIAN]

coffee -- il caffè -- [kahf-FEH]

tea -- il tè -- [teh]

why / because -- perché -- [pehr-KAY]

-------------

DISAMBIGUATION OF WORDS SPELLED ALIKE

The grave accent is used to distinguish some words spelled alike in Italian.

In some cases the same word spelled without an accent mark even has a different meaning.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY IN ITALIAN]

dad -- papà -- [pah-PAH]

pope -- papa -- [PAH-pah]

------

pear-tree -- pero -- [PEH-roh]

but -- però -- [peh-ROH]

------

and -- e -- [eh]

he/she/it is (v) -- è -- [eh]

------

the (feminine article) -- la -- [lah]

there (adverb) -- là -- [lah]

------

if -- se -- [seh]

itself -- sé -- [say]

------

of it -- ne -- [neh]

neither -- né -- [nay]

----------

ITALIAN ACCENT MARKS ON OTHER VOWELS

In some cases, two words spelled alike have a different meaning depending on the position of the accent:

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

anchor (n) -- àncora -- [AHN-koh-rah]

again / more (adv) -- ancòra -- [ahn-KOH-rah]

--------

royal (adj) -- règia -- [REH-jah]

directing of a movie (n) -- regìa -- [reh-JEE-ah]

--------

captain (n) -- capitàno -- [kah-pee-TAH-noh]

they occur (v) -- càpitano -- [KAH-pee-tah-noh]

--------

barrel -- bótte -- [BOH-teh]

beating -- bòtte -- [BOH-teh]

--------

With these Italian words, accents are not mandatory, and in most cases they are not used.

So the correct pronunciation of the word is understood only by the context it occurs in.

For example, with àncora or ancòra, a sentence referring to the anchor of the ship, would not be mistaken for the other ancòra meaning ‘again’ or ‘more’.

======

FREQUENCY OF A FEW WORDS WITH ACCENT MARKS IN ITALIAN

Even though accent marks are not used much in Italian, a few of the following words with accent marks are used so frequently that accent marks may appear to be more frequent in Italian than they really are, especially because of the repeated occurrence of è meaning ‘is’.

ENGLISH -- ITALIAN -- [SAY]

is (v) -- è -- [eh]

can / be able to -- può -- [pwoh]

more -- più -- [pyoo]

there (adverb) -- là -- [lah]

coffee -- il caffè -- [kahf-FEH]

tea -- il tè -- [teh]

======


EASY ITALIAN -- LESSON 7 -- SPELLED DIFFERENTLY



Return to Easy Italian Lessons




-----

Looking for something else?

Use this search feature to find it:

Custom Search

-----









-----

Easiest Languages have thousands of words similar to English, so:

“This is The Easiest Way to Begin Learning Foreign Languages.”

Helping More People Begin Foreign Languages The Easiest Way.

-----

TELL YOUR FRIENDS!