Tips on How to Pronouce Words with a Spanish Accent
Below we’ve created an infographic with some visual tips on how to pronounce different Spanish words with accents. As you can see, the word’s meaning can vary quite a bit, depending on where the accent is or is not placed…
For example, the word donde has 2 different meanings, depending on whether it has an accent or not: donde, without an accent, means “where”, but not in interrogatory, or question, form. Dónde, with an accent, means “where?”, in an interrogatory form, like when you’re asking a question.
Example: La escuela es donde voy a estudiar…School is where I go to study. ¿Dónde vive tu amiga?…Where does your friend live?
Another example are the 3 different versions of esta…
Example: Esta mochila es mía…This backpack is mine. Mi mochila está en la mesa… My backpack is on the table. Ésta es mi mochila…This (one) is my backpack.
In addition to the accent mark distinguishing between different kinds of words and their meanings, the accent also serves as a hint as to where you should place emphasis, when you speak. With the words esta, the emphasis is placed equally on both syllables. With the word ésta, however, more emphasis is placed on the és part of the word, than on the 2nd half of the word. And finally, with the word está, the emphasis is placed on tá, more than it is on es.
This might sound confusing, but we’ll follow it up with a video which we’ll post below…That way you will be able to hear and understand more clearly how to pronounce the words, instead of just guessing!
Please feel free to use this infographic and share it with others! Any comments or questions, we’d love to hear from you 😉