Qué es la tilde diacrítica: A Beginner’s Guide

qu es la tilde diacrtica

What is the Diacritical Accent: A Beginner’s Guide

The diacritical accent, also known as the tilde diacrítica in Spanish, is a small mark placed above certain letters to indicate a change in pronunciation or to distinguish between words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. In this beginner’s guide, we will explore the concept of the diacritical accent and its usage in the Spanish language.

Understanding the Purpose of the Diacritical Accent

The diacritical accent serves two main purposes: to indicate the stress or emphasis on a particular syllable within a word and to differentiate between homonyms, which are words that are spelled the same but have different meanings.

Stress and Emphasis

In Spanish, the position of the stress within a word can alter its meaning. The diacritical accent is used to indicate which syllable should be stressed. For example, the word “sábana” (bedsheet) is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, while “sabana” (savannah) is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable. The diacritical accent helps to clarify the intended meaning of the word.

Distinguishing Homonyms

Homonyms are words that have the same spelling but different meanings. The diacritical accent is used to differentiate between these homonyms. For instance, the word “solo” without the diacritical accent means “alone,” while “sólo” with the diacritical accent means “only.” The diacritical accent helps to avoid confusion and ensures accurate communication.

Common Examples of the Diacritical Accent

Some common examples of the diacritical accent in Spanish include:

– “Tú” (you) vs. “Tu” (your)
– “Él” (he) vs. “El” (the)
– “Mí” (me) vs. “Mi” (my)
– “Sé” (I know) vs. “Se” (reflexive pronoun)


The diacritical accent plays a crucial role in the Spanish language, indicating stress and differentiating between homonyms. Understanding its usage is essential for proper pronunciation and accurate communication. By recognizing and correctly applying the diacritical accent, you can enhance your Spanish language skills and avoid misunderstandings.



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