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Spanish Accents

Spanish Accents

Knowing where accents are used in Spanish can be difficult to understand, but hopefully these rules will help clear things up.

The accents on Spanish words, á, é, í, ó and ú may seem insignificant but they are actually a very important way of showing how a word is pronounced, as they show where the stress falls. Every Spanish word has an accent, or a syllable which is stressed, but they do not always need to be written. The rules of knowing where accents fall and why can be quite difficult for non-native speakers to understand. Hopefully these rules will help clear things up:

Foreign words used in the Spanish language can be exceptions to these rules.

There are also other special cases for the use of written accents:

Another point to remember is that, due to the change in spelling, nouns can gain or lose accents when they change between singular and plural. The same can occur with adjectives when they change from masculine to feminine.
Examples: can-ci-ón à can-ci-on-es, inglés à inglesa

The letter ñ is a letter of the Spanish alphabet, but can be sometimes considered as an accent too. The mark above the n signifies that the letter should be pronounced like nya, as in español (pronounced espanyol).

How to write Spanish accents on your keyboard

The accents on Spanish words are an important part of the spelling, so make sure you don't forget to use them. Here are the codes that you need to press in order to type them on a non-Spanish keyboard. Simply hold down Alt and type in the required number on the number pad: