¡Bienvenidos a la clase!
Today we’re talking about accents: Not unique vocal inflections but special characters added to letters.
Accents are important!
I’ve often had students complain about how difficult it is to insert special characters when typing up their Spanish assignments. Many have tried to submit work bereft of the necessary accents, tildes or upside down question marks, with the excuse that, “Señora knows what I want to say.”
Sorry my dears, it does not work that way. Leaving out an accent can change the meaning of word. And those meanings can be significant!
We looked at the word Tú in earlier lessons:
That accent means something very important here. Without it, you have a possessive pronoun instead of a personal pronoun.
Here are a few more examples
|está||he/ she/ it is/ you are (formal)|
So now we’ve established that the accents are important, but how do you type them?
Note: I’m including instructions only for the most common characters you will need in Spanish.
On a Mac
Acute accents: The accents “going up the mountain”- left to right ( ´ )
Acute: OPTION + “e” , the ´ will appear, then type the letter you want to appear beneath
Hold down the required letter key, continue holding the letter until a menu with special characters appears, click on the one you want (this method works for all vowels and ñ). You can use this method to get the ü as well.
ñ OPTION + “n”, the ˜ will appear, then type the letter “n”
¿ OPTION + SHIFT + “?”
¡ OPTION + “1”
On a PC
Acute accents: CTRL + ‘ (apostrophe), the letter
ü CTRL + SHIFT + : (colon), release those 3 keys then press “u”
ñ CTRL + SHIFT + ~ (tilde), the letter “n”
¿ ALT + CTRL + SHIFT + ?
¡ ALT + CTRL + SHIFT + !
To sum it all up:
Next time you hand in a Spanish assignment, make sure you include all your accents!
Next lesson: The Alphabet in Spanish
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