How to accentuate words in Spanish correctly

Spanish is a language in which some words must be accentuated, depending on their tonic syllable and following some accentuation rules . It is important that we do not forget the graphic accents, so we can write without spelling mistakes and avoid possible confusion in reading. In this language, there is a single accent (unlike others such as French or Catalan), that is, all the vowels will carry the same tilde in the same direction: " ' ". So that you also know when to put accents, we tell you how to accentuate words in Spanish correctly.

Steps to follow:


The first thing you should do to know if a word should have accent or accent will be to separate it by syllables . Words can also be monosyllabic, that is, have a single syllable (ex: sun, today ); but you must bear in mind that a syllable can be formed by a single vowel, but never by a single consonant. Example: eagle separates as a - gui - la.


You should then check which is the tonic syllable, that is, which one is pronounced with more intensity, while the rest will be unstressed. For this, the syllables are classified as:

- last, the most on the right

- the previous one will be the penultimate

- and before this, the second-to-last

Example: in eagle, "the" is the last syllable, "gui" the penultimate and "a" the second to last.


Depending on the position of the tonic syllable, the words may be:

  • acute, whose tonic syllable is the last
  • flat, the tonic is in the penultimate
  • esdrújulas, those with the tonic on the third to last syllable.
  • sobreesdrújulas, if the tonic syllable is any after the second to last

In this way, and following the example, eagle is an esdrújula word, since we pronounce the first syllable with greater force.


The next thing you should know will be the rules of accentuation, that is, when we should put a graphic accent to each type of words:

  • ACUTE : the words ending in a vowel ( a, e, i, o, u ), - n and -s (unless the -s is preceded by another consonant) are accentuated. Examples: jump, truck, bus .
  • LLANAS : accented when NOT ending in a vowel ( a, e, i, o, u ), - n and -s (except -s preceded by another consonant). Examples: pencil, comics.
  • ESDRÚJULAS : they are ALWAYS emphasized. Examples: eagle, purple .
  • OVERDRUGS : they are ALWAYS accentuated. Example: hard, tell me.


As a general rule, monosyllables are not accentuated, although there are certain cases in which it is necessary to put accents. This is the case of the diacritic accent that serves to differentiate words that are written the same but have different meanings.

On these occasions, there is no other option but to learn when we should accentuate the words. Example: te (personal pronoun: "I give you a hug") / tea (infusion: "drink a tea")


In the same way, there are also some cases in which the rules of accentuation are not met and we must emphasize words that at first would not have tilde. This is the case of the interrogative and exclamatory pronouns - direct and indirect - that are used when asking questions p to indicate exclamation.

Example: "What is your name?" according to the regulations, since it is a plain word ending in a vowel, it should not have a graphic accent, but we have to put it to indicate that it is a question. The same goes for "How many things!", Where we emphasize a plain word ending in -s .


Likewise, all the adverbs that end in -mente maintain the accent of the adjective that goes before the termination. Examples: hard, positively.

  • Learn the accentuation rules to know when you should place the accents.
  • You must acquire the habit of reading and so you will learn new words and remember which ones have an accent.