In this tutorial we have seen how to count the number of syllables in a Spanish word, taking into account the fact that a combination of vowels including a weak vowel may form a single syllable, called a diphthong.
Then we learned the basic rule for figuring out what syllable of a Spanish word is stressed. Here is a restatement of that rule:
- If the last letter of the word is a vowel, n or s, then the stress is expected to be on the next-to-last syllable.
- Otherwise (that is, if the word ends in a consonant other than n or s), then the stress is expected to be on the last syllable.
We saw that words that follow this rule in the way they are pronounced don't need accents. Words that are not pronounced according to this rule need an accent mark on the vowel of their stressed syllable.
We also made note of the fact that certain words used to introduce questions and exclamations have an accent mark on their stressed vowel even if they follow the above rule. Similarly, certain pairs of words that are spelled the same but mean different things are distinguished by accent marks.
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful.