How to accentuate in Catalan

Are you learning Catalan and want to know how to accentuate the words ? You have come to the right place! In we want to explain the accentuation rules and the accent types that exist in Catalan so you know when you should put accents and be able to write correctly. Although at first it may seem complicated, it is not that different to accentuate words in Spanish, so with a little practice you will learn how to accentuate in Catalan quickly .

Position of the tonic syllable

As it happens when emphasizing words in Spanish or Spanish, to learn how to put accents in Catalan it will be necessary to know where the tonic syllable of each word is. This means that you must locate the syllable that is pronounced more intensely than the rest, the unstressed ones.

Depending on the position in which the tonic syllable is located, in Catalan the words may be:

- ACUTE: if the strong syllable is the last.

- PLANS: when the tonic syllable is in the penultimate position.

- ESDRÚIXOLES : words with the tonic located on the third to last syllable.

Accentuation rules in Catalan

The next step to know how to accentuate in Catalan will be to know the accentuation rules that determine which terms should have a graphic accent:

  • ACUTE : acute words ending in a vowel are accentuated; -as, -is, -is, -os, -us, -en, -in. But they do not carry tilde if they end in -i or -u that is part of a diphthong. Examples: cançó, ballaràs, depèn, avui
  • PLANS : in the case of plain words, they are accentuated in Catalan when they do NOT end in a vowel; -as, -is, -is, -os, -us, -en, -in . But it must be accentuated when the word ends in -i or -u as part of a diphthong. Examples: c órrer, núvol, exàmens, ballàveu
  • ESDRÚIXOLES: as in Spanish, the esdrújulas are always accentuated. Examples: brúixola, physics, història, esdrúixola.

Types of accent in Catalan

As you can see with the examples and unlike other languages ​​such as Castilian, in Catalan there are two types of accents :

- "l'accent obert o greu" (open or grave accent), oriented on the contrary to the Spanish tilde.

- "l'accent tancat or agut" (accent closed or sharp), in the same sense as in Spanish.

It is important to know which accent should be carried by each vowel in Catalan, although some may carry both accents according to the word. In this way, as you can see in the image: the "a" should always have the accent open, the "i" and the "u" will always be accentuated with the closed one, while the "e" and the "o" will admit the two accents.


català, sèpia, I will think, difficult, però, formula, ningú.

Accent monosyllables in Catalan

In the same way that happens when accentuating words in Spanish, as a general rule, monosyllables - the words of a single syllable - should not have accents in Catalan . Even so, there is also the diacritic accent, that is, the one used to differentiate words that are written the same but mean different things.

Therefore, it is necessary to know the pairs of monosyllabic words that are accentuated to establish differences between them. For example:

  • te (noun to refer to the infusion) / tea (verb form of the verb tenir)
  • yes (conditional conjunction) / yes (affirmative adverb)
  • month (noun referring to thirty days) / month (adverb of quantity)

Likewise, there are also words with more than one syllable that, according to the accentuation rules, should not have an accent, but the diacritic tilde is placed to differentiate them from others that are written in the same way. Examples:

  • dona (noun to refer to a woman) / dona (verbal form of the verb donate )
  • blackberry (woman from northern Africa) / móra (edible fruit)