Diacritical Accent

Diacritical Accent in Dictionary

An accent is called the articulation of the voice that makes it possible to highlight, through pronunciation, a syllable of a word. This distinction between the syllables can be achieved through the use of a higher tone or a higher intensity.

It is possible to differentiate between different kinds of accent. In this opportunity we will focus on the diacritical accent, also known as an emphatic accent because it appeals to the emphasis on pronunciation to differentiate between two terms.

The diacritical accent, which in writing requires the use of the tilde (an oblique line), makes it possible to distinguish between a tonic syllable and an unstressed syllable, helping to differentiate two meanings.

It is usual for the diacritical accent to be used with monosyllables that are used in different ways. We can analyze the case of more. If this monosyllabic word carries the diacritical accent with its corresponding tilde, it is a comparative adverb: “Walter is younger than Daniel”, “The Argentine surface is larger than the Chilean one”. But when more does not take diacritical accent is a conjunction: ” I stated my intention to leave office, but they would not let me”, “I’d go looking for you right now, but I can not”.

Among monosyllables, we find a long list of examples in which the use of the diacritical accent has to be resorted to in order to achieve the differentiation we need. Examples of this are:
-De / Dé. In the first case it does not have a tilde because it is a preposition and in the second it does because it is a verbal form of the verb “give”.
-He / He. The first term lacks this accent because it simply acts as an article. The second does have it because it is used as a personal pronoun.
-Te / Tea. The first one does not have a diacritical accent because it works as a personal pronoun, while the second one does because it acts as a noun. Specifically, this second word gives its name to the typical infusion of Great Britain.

The use of diacritical stress also appears in exclamatory pronouns and interrogative pronouns, to differentiate them from conjunctions and relative pronouns. The word when, with a diacritical accent, is an interrogative pronoun: “When will you pay me back?” . When, without an accent, it is a conjunction: “Last month was when it got hotter. ”

It is important that it be clear to us that the diacritical accent becomes a very relevant tool when it comes to understanding the texts in front of us correctly. And it is that, among other things, it will make us be able to differentiate what meaning the words that are written in the same way have.

In addition to what has been indicated, we must know that this type of accent in question also plays a fundamental role in languages ​​other than Spanish. Thus, for example, it is vital in Valencian to distinguish words that are written the same but have different meanings. And it is that, as a sample, “be”, which is the breeding of a sheep, is not the same as “bé”, which is an adverb of way or that can mean “wealth”.

Diacritical Accent