Easy Spanish Lesson 6: Accent Marks

Webpage Easy Spanish Lesson 6 Accent Marks

ACCENT MARKS ON SPANISH WORDS

An ACCENT MARK over a vowel indicates the syllable to be stressed, eg

á -- é -- í -- ó -- ú

In Spanish, there is only one type of accent mark over vowels to indicate stress on the syllable.

The accent mark indicating stress in Spanish is always what’s called an ‘acute accent mark’, like the ones over the vowels in the previous list.

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(Otherwise, if there is no accent mark, say the last part of the Spanish word louder,

except if words end a,e,i,o,u, n,s -- then second-to-last part of the word is stressed.)

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ACCENT MARK ON SPANISH WORDS IN ENGLISH

Some Spanish words with accent marks that have been imported into English also have accent marks in English, and some do not. Some adopted into English retain their accent marks, for a variety of reasons:

1) Some arrivals are so recent they have not yet lost their accent marks.

2) Some may indicate a pronounced vowel that otherwise would not be pronounced in English, for example olé.

3) Some accent marks may distinguish a word from another English word with similar spelling but different meaning.

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Spanish Words Familiar From Movies etc.

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY]

goodby -- adiós -- [‘adiós’]

olé -- olé -- [‘olé’]

English -- inglés -- [‘inglés’]

good morning -- buenos días -- [‘buenos días’]

nice / likeable -- simpático/a -- [seem-PAH-tee-koh]

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Spanish Names

José -- [hoh-SEH]

Raúl -- [rah-OOL]

Joaquín - [hwah-KEEN]

Jesús (person name) -- [heh-SOOS]

So these Spanish words that have retained their accent marks in English are the easiest introduction to Spanish words with accent marks, because you may be familiar with accent marks on these words in English.

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ACCENT MARK ON ENGLISH WORDS IN SPANISH

The acute accent mark over a letter [é] is used on English words in Spanish to indicate stress that does not follow the rules of Spanish pronunciation.

Often the acute accent mark over a letter in English words in Spanish indicates stress similar to the English pronunciation.

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY]

duplex -- el dúplex -- [‘duplex’]

hamster -- el hámster -- [‘hamster’]

laser -- el láser -- [‘laser’]

super (great) -- súper -- [‘super’]

telex -- el télex -- [‘telex’]

video -- el vídeo -- [‘video’]

starter -- el stárter -- [ehs-TAR-ter]

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Sometimes the acute accent mark over a letter in English words in Spanish indicates stress different from the English pronunciation.

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY]

piston -- el pistón -- [pees-TOHN]

sofa -- el sofá -- [soh-FAH]

television -- el televisión -- [teh-leh-vee-SYOHN]

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SPANISH STRESS SAME AS ENGLISH

When the syllable with the accent mark is pronounced with stress in Spanish, these Spanish words spelled like English sound similar to English.

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY]

America -- América -- [‘America’]

cafe / café -- café -- [‘cafe’]

camping -- cámping -- [‘camping’]

formula (baby) -- fórmula -- [FOR-moo-lah]

Mexico -- México -- [MEH-hee-koh]

opera -- ópera -- [‘opera’]

oregano -- orégano -- [‘oregano’]

parking -- párking -- [‘parking’]

pizzeria -- pizzería -- [‘pizzeria’]

salon -- salón -- [‘salon’]

sandwich -- sándwich -- [‘sandwich’]

super (fuel) -- súper -- [‘super’]

violin -- violín -- [‘violin’]

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SPANISH STRESS DIFFERENT THAN ENGLISH

When the syllable with the accent mark is pronounced with stress in Spanish, these Spanish words spelled like English sound different in Spanish than they do in English.

Sotess on the Last Syllable:

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY]

Canada -- Canadá -- [kah-nah-DAH]

carton -- cartón -- [kahr-TOHN]

melon -- melón -- [meh-LOHN]

menu -- menú -- [meh-NOO]

salmon -- salmón -- [sahl-MOHN]

sofa -- sofá -- [soh-FAH]

tampon -- tampón -- [tahm-POHN]

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ACCENT MARK ON -IÓN

The acute accent mark over the ending -IÓN in Spanish indicates the syllable is to be stressed in pronouncing the Spanish word.

In this pronunciation guide, stress on the ‘-IÓN’ syllable is simplified to “-YOHN”.

In actual Spanish pronunciation this syllable follows closely after the preceding consonant, more like [ehx-koor-SYOHN] than this simplified [ehx-koor-see-YOHN].

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY IN SPANISH]

excursion -- excursión -- [ehx-koor-see-YOHN]

extension -- extensión -- [ehx-tehn-see-YOHN]

habitation -- habitatión -- [ah-bee-tah-see-YOHN]

indigestión -- indigestión -- [een-dee-hehs-tee-YOHN]

opinión -- opinión -- [oh-pee-nee-YOHN]

region -- región -- [reh-khee-YOHN]

religion -- religión -- [reh-lee-khee-YOHN]

television -- televisión -- [teh-leh-bee-see-YOHN]

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SOUND SIMILAR but SPELLED DIFFERENT in ENGLISH and SPANISH

With Accent Mark in Spanish

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY LIKE ENGLISH]

me -- mí -- [“me”]

sweater -- suéter -- [“sweater”]

bamboo [shoots] -- bambú -- [“bamboo”]

camera -- cámara -- [“camera”]

basketball -- básquetbol -- [“basketball”]

football (soccer) -- fútbol -- [“football”]

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Pronounced Slightly Different

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY]

automobile -- automóvil -- [ow-toh-moh-beel]

roast beef -- rosbíf -- [rrohs-beef]

shampoo -- [champú -- [chahm-poo]

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Accent Marks on Spanish Words Spelled Somewhat Like English

Spanish words spelled somewhat like English are words similar to English, but spelled somewhat differently than English -- although easily recognizable as clearly related to English.

The syllable with the accent mark is pronounced with stress in Spanish.

Spanish Spelled Somewhat Like English

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY SPANISH]

antiseptic -- antiséptico -- [ahn-tee-SEHP-tee-koh]

articles -- artículos -- [ahr-TEE-koo-lohs]

authentic -- auténtico -- [aw-oo-TEHN-tee-koh]

automatic -- automático -- [ow-toh-MAH-tee-koh]

baby -- bebé -- [‘baby’]

balcony balcón -- -- [bahl-KOHN]

bamboo -- bambú -- [‘bamboo’]

broccoli -- brócoli -- [‘broccoli’]

bus -- autobús -- [aw-toh-BOOS]

calories -- calorías -- [kah-loh-REE-ahs]

camera -- cámara -- [KAH-mah-rah]

credit -- crédito -- [kreh-dee-toh]

day -- día -- [DEE-ah]

difficult -- difícil -- [dee-FEE-seel]

English -- inglés -- [een-GLEHS]

erectile -- eréctil -- [‘erectile’]

fantastic -- fantástico -- [fahn-TAHS-tee-koh]

fragile -- frágil -- [FRAH-heel]

garden -- jardín -- [khahr-DEEN]

incredible -- increíble -- [een-kreh-EE-bleh]

information -- información -- [een-fohr-mah-see-YOHN]

interest -- interés -- [een-teh-REHS]

interpreter -- intérprete -- [een-TEHR-preh-teh]

line -- línea -- [LEE-neh-ah]

lotion -- loción -- [lohs-YOHN]

magnificant -- magnífico -- [mahg-NEE-fee-koh]

music -- música -- [MOO-see-kah]

number -- número -- [NOO-meh-roh]

reception -- recepción -- [reh-sehps-YOHN]

ridiculous -- ridículo -- [rree-DEE-koo-loh]

romantic -- romántico -- [roh-MAHN-tee-koh]

shampoo -- champú -- [‘shampoo’]

Spanish -- español -- [ehs-pahn-YOHL]

station -- estación -- [ehs-tah-see-YOHN]

sweater -- suéter -- [‘sweater’]

tea -- té -- [teh]

typical -- típica -- [TEE-pee-kah]

volcano -- volcán -- [vohl-KAHN]

zoo -- zoológico -- [soh-oh-LOH-khee-koh]

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An easiest introduction to Spanish pronunciation is to pronounce each of these Spanish words spelled somewhat like English. By hearing how the Spanish pronunciation is somewhat similar to and somewhat different from the English pronunciation you are familiar with, you will begin to get an understanding of the Spanish pronunciation system.

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ACCENT MARK OVER LETTER ñ

The accent mark over letter ñ in Spanish indicates the pronunciation –ny-

The letter ñ in Spanish is pronounced –ny- as in ‘cañon’ [“kah-nyohn”].

In English this word and ppronunciation is spelled out as ‘canyon’.

-ñ- with a wavy accent mark over it is pronounced "NY"

In the pronunciation guide here, the pronunciations of -ñ- as “NY “ are put in capital letters to draw your attention to them.

As in these Spanish words spelled like English

SPANISH / ENGLISH -- [SAY]

piña colada -- [pee-NYah koh-lah-dah]

piñata -- [pee-NYah-tah]

mañana -- [mah-NYah-nah]

señorita (Miss) -- [seh-NYoh-ree-tah]

señora (Mrs.) -- [seh-NYoh-rah]

señor (Mr.) -- [seh-NYohr]

espagñol (Spanish) -- [eh-spah-NYohl]

El Niño -- [ehl nee-NYoh]

jalapeño -- [hah-lah-peh-NYoh]

vicuña -- [vee-koo-NYah]

cañon -- [kah-NYohn] -- (in English spelled out as ‘canyon’)

tomorrow -- mañana -- [mah-NYah-nah]

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Spelled Different in Spanish

ENGLISH -- SPANISH -- [SAY]

companions -- compañeros -- [kom-pah-NYeh-rohs]

cognac -- coñac -- [koh-NYahk]

mountain -- montaña -- [mohn-TAH-nyuh]

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NEXT EASY SPANISH -- LESSON 7 -- SPELLED DIFFERENTLY in Spanish than English.



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