If I didn't use accents...
would my Spanish make sense? Or would it be very confusing?
I'm just wondering how important accents are .
Thank you in advance.
I visit a Spanish forum about video games sometimes and no one uses accents.
I agree that many native speakers don't use it. And Luciente makes a good point that there are some venues where accents marks are rarely, if ever, used. While that is certainly true, I would say it is equally true that there are some venues where misspelling and 'texting shorthand' in English are more common than properly spelled out words and grammatically correct sentences. But if you were learning English as a second language, would that help you learn?
So I say Yes; accents marks are very important if you want to learn and use the Spanish Language properly. However to me this is an issue more closely related to proper spelling and punctuation. For example:
Native speakers of every language sometimes are just to lazy to take the time...
If you read that over quickly you may have passed over the spelling error. I'm sure it is just a typo, we all make them. But when you go back and look then I'm sure you'll. By context we all knew what he meant, and if he had noticed it he would have corrected it before posting. in englis we know by contekst wat a persin means even if thay dont spell right or yuse properly punctuacion or grammer but its hardar to reed and you prolly wood rather read a corected vertion.
So I would sincerely encourage you to make a habit of using accents marks, just as you would do your best to spell and punctuate your English properly.
I visit a Spanish forum about video games sometimes and no one uses accents. Nor do any of my Spanish friends use accents when they post on each other's Facebook walls. I think accents matter in formal writing, but obviously native speakers understand Spanish just fine without accents.
(I should add that when I post there, I don't use accents because it made me stick out like a sore thumb that I was overly formal in my writing.)
It's becoming harder and harder to find people that can spell properly, in any language. In my work, I have been amazed at the number of formal (so called) resume letters (in English) that look like they were written by a third grader. In my volunteer work I've seen the same thing in Spanish, where memos and letters look like they were written by a child.
We justify it, take up for it, make excuses for it. Yet the sad fact is, more and more people can't spell properly, slang is cool, words don't matter, blah, blah, blah.
Go to a library, or search on the internet, and read the letters that young men and teenagers wrote during the civil war. The 'uneducated' back then could spell circles around us and it shows in our writing.
There's a time and place for everything I guess, but for now, I'm trying to hold back the dumbing down of the world, one letter at a time.
I've worked so hard at learning Spanish, if for nothing more than respect for the language, I try to use accents because that is part of proper spelling. But that's just me.
Accents are important, for example: Límite (LImite) - Limite (limIte) - Limité (LimitE) they all have different meanings, if someone doesn't use accents it can be confusing, although you can understand depending on the context in which you read the word.
Proper spelling and punctuation are the rules of this site because everyone here is trying to learn either English or Spanish. However, on other sites, you are free to leave off the accents. If you read Spanish comments on YouTube, you will notice very few accent marks. I have no trouble reading it (except when it goes beyond my level of vocabulary or grammatical structure). When I see "Como estas?" without the first question mark and without any accent marks at all, I'm not sitting there completely baffled wondering if the author meant "Like these?" or "How are you?"
In my experience most native Spanish speakers do not use accents when they write. Understanding is usually based on context.
However, if you speak without accentuating properly is a different story. If you are lucky the person will use the context to understand what you are saying, though many times people will immediately label you as a foriegner and deem you unintelligible no matter how good your Spanish is. And, before anyone gets on my case... Native speakers of every language sometimes are just to lazy to take the time and make the effort to understand non-nativfe speakers of their language.
I agree with Cooking4life. Accents are what "make" the word when written or verbalized. English nor Spanish speakers use a monotone voice when we communicate emphasis is placed at the appropriate time i.e. I am mad, REAL mad!! Why would one not write like they speak? So, yes, accents are very important: You wouldn't want to say one thing, and mean something else, would you? I'd rather spare myself the embarrassment.
words have different meanings. Take años without the ~ over the (n) It means something else. It wouldnt mean age. I would highly reccomend using them because you would sound foolish some times or every time you skip the accent/the dierisis.
I also wonder if the fact that many never use accents while typing is a direct result of having to go through hoops sometimes to put the accents on the letters. I'm sure having to press < shift > + < i > to type the letter "I" is probably a big deterrent and results in lots of "i said..." and "i'm like..." That is a lot of work and requires one to carefully coordinate fingers on both hands simultaneously. Could that also be why many don't use á é í ó ú ü ñ, etc.? (OK, that was a touch of sarcasm. Playfully, though. )