Accents in Spanish

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Does anyone know how what the accents do in spanish? Nobody seems to know. I know it is something to do with stress but it would be great if somebody could talk me through it.

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updated NOV 8, 2008
posted by Kiaskor-Mathridon

4 Answers

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Nobody seems to know? I do.

They tell you where to stress words. For example, in English, do you say seROtonin, seroTOnin or serotoNIN? If you have never heard the word, you can only guess. In Spanish the accents tell you how it should be stressed.

updated NOV 8, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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If you click on the reference tab, then select Spanish Grammar and click on 'accents' under the Pronunciation heading, it gives the rules.
Mind you, you will probably have to look up the words esdrújulas and sobresdrújulas, I certainly did!

updated NOV 8, 2008
posted by tad
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as an example
te or té
te is a personal pronoun, meaning you in some situacions,example,Te voy a dar una taza de té.
translation:
I am going to give you a cup of tea

té means tea

updated NOV 8, 2008
posted by 00769608
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I think your statement about no one seems to know is more than hyperbole. I think it's just wrong. Accent marks are just a pronunciation aid. They tell you where to place the stress in a word when it doesn't follow the normal rules for placing the stress.

http://www.spanishdict.com/reference/grammar/accents

updated NOV 8, 2008
posted by 0074b507