Spanish Accents in Strange places.
Maybe during your Spanish language learning journey you’ve noticed that there are some words that are spelled the same yet one of them has an accent or tilde and the other doesn’t. Many times the accent barely changes the pronunciation, if at all.
The most confusing part of this, of course, is not when you have to say these words, but when you have to write them.
Is it SOLO or SÓLO?
Should I write EL or ÉL?
Is it MI or MÍ?
This is the key to getting it right, of course. If you don’t know why they have Spanish accents, then you will never be able to know when they should have them and when they shouldn’t.
The actual reason is fairly straightforward. Many words have the same spelling, yet are different in meaning and need to be identified as different. Thus, when faced with writing the word, MY, you need to know if you should write MI or MÍ. Just by listening to the pronunciation will not necessarily give you the answer.
For example, AUN and AÚN are very difficult to identify with the ear. and so, there needs to be another way to distinguish between them.
So, What’s the Answer?
The answer is knowing what each word means so that you can always choose the correct one. For example, TU without the Spanish accent means YOUR, whilst TÚ with the accent means YOU. Subtle? Yes, it’s true, however, it’s a fundamentally important difference.
Do all Spanish Speakers Use Accents?
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Spanish speakers don’t always use the Spanish accents correctly. They often miss them out, or add the odd one just for the look of it. As students of Spanish, however, we really don’t have that luxury. We should always strive to put them in their rightful place. Why? Because, as the saying goes, before you stop using something, you must first understand it.
If you don’t even bother to learn the, just because other native speakers don’t bother with them, then you will have a permanent skills gap in your Spanish which is sure to cause you issues later.
So, listen in or watch on as we explain to you the meanings of these words and how to identify them in the future. Remember, everything we cover in the podcasts is covered in much greater depth in the helpsheets.
Saludos, Gordon y Cynthia