1. SolaresLarrave

    SolaresLarrave New Member

    DeKalb, IL
    Spanish (Guatemala)
    I need some bit of a reminder. That is to say... I used to know these things, but forgot about them somewhere in life.

    Why is that certain "diptongos" have to be "dissolved" with a tilde? I'm talking about "economía", "cafetería" and others, while "puerta", "periodo" and "hacia" do not need a tilde?

    Is is only because of philological reasons? That is to say, because these words are pronounced that way?

    Please, advice... I must reply to a question from a student.

    Gracias desde ya! :)
  2. blingedout Senior Member

    English - United States
    The vowels a, e, and o are considered "strong vowels". The vowels i and u are considered "weak vowels". If a strong vowel is paired with a weak vowel or two weak vowels are paired together they form a dipthong, but two strong vowels form two separate syllables. The accent is necessary to allow a weak vowel to get its own syllable when it goes next to a strong vowel.
  3. SolaresLarrave

    SolaresLarrave New Member

    DeKalb, IL
    Spanish (Guatemala)
    Thanks, that's correct. However, why Cafetería needs a tilde and Puerta doesn't?

    All I can muster as an explanation is merely philological: the words started the way they are, and they're pronouced that way, without an accent in the weak vowel in Puerta, and with it in Cafetería.

    Is that right?
  4. pickypuck Senior Member

    Badajoz, Spanish Extremadura
    Extremaduran Spanish
    Yes. If you don't put an accent over the i in cafetería, then the word should be pronounced as "cafeTEria", and "ria" would be one single syllable, like for example in the word "paria". Compare Spanish manía and English mania. If we don't put an accent over the i, then the stress would go in the first syllable so it would be MAnia (stress like in English). Puerta doesn't need an accent because "puer" is a single syllable (ue always is, afaik). About periodo, it depends on the pronounciation. Some people say "periodo", and others "período". So it depends.

    ¡Olé! :cool:
  5. Jellby

    Jellby Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Yes, that's basically it. The accents come after the pronunciation, they are a way to represent the pronunciation, not the other way around.

    A word is pronounced as "PUER-ta", then it's written as "puerta", because "púerta" would be pronounced "PU-er-ta", which does not exist.

    Another word is pronounced "ca-fe-te-RI-a", and it's written "cafetería", because "cafeteria" would be pronounced "ca-fe-TE-ria", which is not Spanish.
  6. andaya Senior Member

    Es la forma de pronunciar la que determina si una palabra lleva o no lleva acento y donde.
    Hacia y hacía, lio y lío.
  7. dec-sev Senior Member

    Mi manual Español dice que si la palabra se termina con el consonante (n o s son excepciones), el acento cae a su última sílaba, si se termima con vocal, cae a la sílaba penúltima. Todos los exepciones se indican con el signo del acento, lo que distinta ventajosemente el español del inglés, a menos para mí. :)
    Espero que le haya aclarado algo sin confundirle más. :)
    La primera explicación de blingedout es muy útil. Leala otra vez.
  8. andaya Senior Member

    Dec-sev no es del todo cierto lo que dice tu diccionario.
  9. gwrthgymdeithasol Senior Member

    English, Wales
    Good explanation. But it's worth remembering also that it's only a convention (one that helps you pronounce a word you haven't seen/heard before); other similar languages (Italian, for example) don't bother.
  10. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    But in Spanish this is how the convention works. If the word is stressed on the last syllable and does not end in a consonant other than s or n, you write it with an accent mark.
  11. Jellby

    Jellby Senior Member

    Spanish (Spain)
    Yes, that's the convention in Spanish, each language is written differently. In French the accents have nothing to do with the stress.

    If the original question is why some words have a dipthong while others do not, or why some words have the stress in the last syllable and others in the second to last... then the answer is "just because".

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