Why accents are important in Spanish

Ranger
Posts436Likes 219Joined 4/9/2018LocationCaracas / VE
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Spanish
Learning German, Italian
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It may be annoying to learn how to use accents in Spanish, but they are absolutely necessary. There are many words that are written the same but their accent makes them different:


The most common: 

- papá / dad

- papa / potato or pope


You can twist the meaning of a sentence like "Llamemos a su papá" if you do not use the accent: "Llamemos a su papa", you can easily turn "lets call his dad" to "lets call his potato". Here are other words that use accents and can change the whole meaning of a sentence if you use them wrong:


- "Mamá" and "mama".

Mi mamá es buena / My mom is good

Ella tiene cáncer de mama / She has breast cancer


- "Té" and "te".

Juan toma una taza de / Juan drinks a cup of tea

Te amaré por siempre / I will love you forever 


- "Jugo" and "jugó".

Un litro de jugo / A liter of juice

Juan jugó mucho / Juan played much


- "Más" and "mas".

No quiero tomar más / I don't want to drink more

Estudió mas no aprobó / He studied but he didn't approve


- "Él" and "el":

Él no quiere a su novia / He doesn't want his girlfriend

El gato es negro / The cat is black

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#1
Dwarf
Posts58Likes 27Joined 8/10/2018LocationManila / PH
Other English, Japanese, Korean

Oh, this is interesting! That's actually the reason why I sometimes hesitate to speak in a foreign language. Also the tone for talking to the elders, or speaking formally and informally. I'm afraid I'm not using the words correctly and it might cause misunderstanding. 

mismei

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#2
Ranger
Posts436Likes 219Joined 4/9/2018LocationCaracas / VE
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Spanish
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maebrizuela wrote:

Oh, this is interesting! That's actually the reason why I sometimes hesitate to speak in a foreign language. Also the tone for talking to the elders, or speaking formally and informally. I'm afraid I'm not using the words correctly and it might cause misunderstanding.


More reasons to practice! :o.... If the person you are communicating with knows that you are learning, there shouldn't be a problem :)

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#3
Dwarf
Posts58Likes 27Joined 8/10/2018LocationManila / PH
Other English, Japanese, Korean

Jess.PWinkler wrote:
maebrizuela wrote:
Oh, this is interesting! That's actually the reason why I sometimes hesitate to speak in a foreign language. Also the tone for talking to the elders, or speaking formally and informally. I'm afraid I'm not using the words correctly and it might cause misunderstanding.

More reasons to practice! :o.... If the person you are communicating with knows that you are learning, there shouldn't be a problem :)


Right!  

mismei

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#4
Elf
Posts137Likes 82Joined 3/9/2018LocationLagos / NG
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English
Learning French

The African language I speak, ”Yoruba” has several words with the same spelling but different meanings. The meaning actually depends on how it is pronounced (accent). Like Okò is husband and Oko is bush. Accent is really very important 

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#5
Ranger
Posts436Likes 219Joined 4/9/2018LocationCaracas / VE
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TemitopeAkinyede wrote:

The African language I speak, ”Yoruba” has several words with the same spelling but different meanings. The meaning actually depends on how it is pronounced (accent). Like Okò is husband and Oko is bush. Accent is really very important


Yes! They are super important :)... I know that Japanese has something like this also, a friend of mine tried to explain this to me a long time ago @.@

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#6
Dwarf
Posts50Likes 36Joined 6/10/2018LocationIrpin / UA
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Russian, Ukrainian
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May I ask, does the pronunciation differ depending on the accent? Like in the example of 'el' as an article and 'el' as a pronoun.

Besides, I think in Italian and Portuguese there is a similar phenomenon. For instance, 'e' = and, é =is. 


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#7
Ranger
Posts363Likes 174Joined 10/7/2018LocationBinan City / PH
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Tagalog
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Thanks for these tips Jess! Will take note of these in my spanish learning journey. I'm quite busy nowadays so I'm literally not so progressing in my learnings that's why tips like these here are very much appreciated. 

Edzky-18

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#8
Ranger
Posts436Likes 219Joined 4/9/2018LocationCaracas / VE
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Vladyslava wrote:

May I ask, does the pronunciation differ depending on the accent? Like in the example of 'el' as an article and 'el' as a pronoun.

Besides, I think in Italian and Portuguese there is a similar phenomenon. For instance, 'e' = and, é =is.


Yes they do! With "el/" is sutil, I'll record "mama/mamá" and "papa/papá" tomorrow :)

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#9