Tag Archives: written accents

Proofread a Spanish text: written accents (II)

Time ago we talked about written accents in Spanish in order to proofread a Spanish text. Today we will look to written accents when two vowels go together.

In Spanish we have two kind of vowels:

  1. Strong vowels are “a”, “e” and “o”.
  2. Weak vowels are “i” and “u”.

When a strong vowel goes with a weak one, it usually is one single syllable. For example: cuerda.

When there are two weak vowels it also is one syllable such as: ruido.

But, when there are two strong vowels, they will be in different syllables, as for example: caer that is pronounced ca-er.

In general, you need to follow the rules stated in the previous post about written accents (you have the link in the first line of this post). So in the word “consideración” as the stressed syllable is the last one and it ends with an “n” it needs a written accent. If that is the case the accent will go in the strong vowel. Same happens with “después”. If the two vowels are weak the written accent goes in the second one. The same works for two strong vowels.

But, when these rules about the syllable don’t work, you need to mark the vowels with a written accent. You will understand with the following example.

In BIOLOGÍA, I is weak and A  is strong, so it should be one syllable, however in Spanish we say BIO-LO-GÍ-A. To separate the I and the A you need the written accent. In BIO as the weak and strong vowels are together you don’t need any accent. Also, there is not such word in Spain with more than one written accent.