Accents and punctuation

Words than end in a consonant are accented on the last syllable; as virtud, virtue; hablar, to speak; fusil, gun; papel, paper.

Words that end in a vowel are accented on the penultimate; as, banco, bench; mesa, table; libro, book.

Of course we need not put any written accent on the last syllable, when it ends in a consonant; nor on the next to the last, when it ends in a vowel, because the fact of ending in any of these letters is a sufficient mark where to lay the stress of the voice.

The written accent is used only over the words that do not follow the above two rules, to show they are exceptions; as, papá, papa; periódico, newspaper; lápiz, pencil…


Monosyllables having only one signification are never accented; as, pan, mal… But monosyllables or any other word having more than one signification should be accented when they are more slowly pronounced; as, mí, me; mi, my; él, he; el, the…

The verb is an exception to what has been stated about the accent, since many persons of it, in the different tenses, have the stress of the voice on the syllable next to the last, although they end in a consonant; as, hablan, they speak; compraron, they bought…; and although this may be  an exception, it is not customary to place the written accent over then as is done in the case of other words.

The employment of the written accent in the verbs is now generally confined to the first and third persons singular, and first person plural of the perfect indicative, and every person of the future indicative.

If one or more pronouns of the dative or accusative case be affixed to an unaccented person of a verb, the syllable on which the stress falls should be marked with the accent; as from: busca, búscalo, búscaselo; from: venda, véndalo, véndaselo…


The marks are the same as in English, and are similarly applied, excepting those of interrogation and exclamation, which both precede and succeed the sentence; the former it should be remarked are inverted. Ex.: ¿Cómo está usted?, ¡Oh, si usted supiera!

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