Accent Marks
Accent marks are used to stress certain syllables. The mark indicates where the stress should fall.

Accent Mark Rules

  1. The stress normally falls on the next to the last syllable when the word ends in vowel or in n or s.
         Ex. TAco
  2. The stress normally falls on the last syllable when the word ends in any consonant other than n or s.
         Ex. paPEL
  3. When a word ends in ion, place an accent mark over the "o".
         Ex: canción.
  4. Some words that en in ia have mark over the "i".
         Ex: alegrÍA.

Notes
Accent marks are also used with question words. Ex:¿Qué?
An accent mark will sometimes change the entire meaning of the same word.
Some past tense forms of verbs will have an accent mark on the last vowel.
Some future tense forms of verbs will have an accent mark on the last vowel.

Typing Accent Marks

You can type accent marks using any Windows word processor. All you need to do is locate the "Character Map".

Windows - All versions: This is my favorite way. Use the ALT key plus a number to type the character. Press the ALT key first, and hold it down while you type the number.
*Note: Use the Number pad located on the right hand side of the keyboard .

ALT 0225 á ALT 0193 Á
ALT 0233 é ALT 0201 É
ALT 0237 í ALT 0205 Í
ALT 0241 ñ ALT 0209 Ñ
ALT 0243 ó ALT 0211 Ó
ALT 0250 ú ALT 0218 Ú
ALT 0252 ü ALT 0220 Ü
ALT 0191 ¿
ALT 0161 ¡
Windows 95: Click START, ACCESSORIES, then finally, CHARACTER MAP. >From the Character Map, place the cursor over the desired character, click on it, then click on COPY.
In your word processor, click paste, and the accented character will appear.

Windows 98, 98 SE, ME, NT, 2000, and XP: Click START, ACCESSORIES, RUN, and type "charmap.exe"
>From the Character Map, place the cursor over the desired character, click on it, then click on COPY. In your word processor, click paste, and the accented character will appear.

Questions

How do you type accent marks on a laptop? Can you type accent marks on a laptop?
    You can use the accent marks, but you must toggle between the Number Pad and Keyboard. The numbers are usually printed in a different color (mine are blue) on the right side of the laptop keyboard. Some systems use a FN key or a NumLock key. Set the keyboard to NUM LOCK to be able to use the superimposed number pad. Don't forget to set it back to start typing again.

How did you learn where to place the accent mark?
    Because I was able to hear Spanish spoken throughout my childhood, I was able to hear the accentuation. Then, after learning the rules, I was able to apply the rules.

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© September 2000, mprz.com
Last Revised: September 20, 2004