Stresses and accent marks
“Understanding where to put the emphasis in
a word can be as difficult as sounding out the
word itself. Fortunately, Spanish makes it
easy for you. When a word is stressed on an
irregular syllable, an accent mark will appear
above the stressed vowel”
In Spanish orthography, stress may be written explicitly with a
single acute accent on a vowel, depending on the syllable such
Stressed antepenultimate syllables are always written with this
accent mark, as in Húngaro.
If the last syllable is stressed, the accent mark is used if the word
ends in the letters n, s, or a vowel, as in camión, anís and salió.
If the penultimate syllable is stressed, the accent is used if the
word ends in any other letter (any letter but n, s, or a vowel), as
in cárcel and lápiz.
That is, if the last letter a word written without an accent mark
is a vowel, n, or s, the stress is on the penult: pato, releen and
But if the last letter a word written without an accent mark is
any other letter, then the stress is on the final syllable: legal,
buscar and libertad.
However as in Greek, the acute accent is also used for some
words to distinguish various syntactical uses (e.g. té "tea" vs. te -
a form of the pronoun tú; dónde "where" as a pronoun or wh-
complement, donde "where" as an adverb).
á Option + e , a Á Option + e , A
é Option + e , e É Option + e , E
í Option + e , i Í Option + e ,
ó Option + e , o Ó Option + e , O
ú Option + e , u Ú Option + e , U
ü Option + u , u
ñ Option + n , n Ñ Option + n , N
¡ Option + 1
¿ Option + Shift + ?
(Press the 3 keys together)
In Microsoft Word:
á Ctrl + (apostrophe) , a Á Ctrl + (apostrophe) , A
é Ctrl + (apostrophe) , e É Ctrl + (apostrophe) , E
í Ctrl + (apostrophe) , i Í Ctrl + (apostrophe) , I
ó Ctrl + (apostrophe) , o Ó Ctrl + (apostrophe) , O
ú Ctrl + (apostrophe) , u Ú Ctrl + (apostrophe) , U
Ü Ctrl + Shift + (colon) , u
ñ Ctrl + Shift + ~ (tilde) , n Ñ Ctrl + Shift + ~
(tilde) , N
¡ Alt + Ctrl + Shift + ! (Press the 4 keys together)
¿ Alt + Ctrl + Shift + ? (Press the 4 keys together)
Most of these formulas represent two step operations
Compare the previous explanation to this other
presentation and try doing the exercises