Catalan accents

In this lesson we will see when you have to write accents in Catalan words and if this accent is open or closed.
Accents in Catalan show the word stress when the word stress breaks the normal rules.
First of all I remember your that the accents that Catalan vowels can have are: à, é (closed e), è (open e), í, ó (closed o), ò (open o), ú.

Catalan accentuation rules

  • Monosillabic words don’t have accents (except the ones that have a diacritical accent that we will see in this lesson).
  • You have to write the accent on words that are stressed on the last syllable if they end with a vowel, with a vowel followed by an -s, in -en or in -in.
    Examples: català (Catalan), però (but), també (also), només (just, only), Dublín (Dublin)
  • You have to write the accent on words that are stressed on the penultimate (next to the last) syllable if they do not end with anyone of the previous terminations.
    Examples: tónic (tonic), áton (unstressed), exámens (exam)
  • If the accent is on the antepenultimate syllable or on a previous syllable you have to write the accent.
    Examples: tònica (tonica), gramàtica (grammatica)
  • Adverbs ending in -ment have an accent if they are formed from a word that have an accent.
    Examples: ràpid (quick) → ràpidament (quickly), fàcil (easy) → fàcilment (easily)

Accent vowel A

Vowel A, if accentuated, has always the open accent: À

Accent vowel E

Vowel E can have open accent (è) or closed accent (é).
Words stressed on the last syllable: almost always the e has an open accent, except in future verbs (Examples, aniré, feré), in words derivated from bé, té, ve, in words like és, només and després, and in word like accés and congrés that end in -essos in their plural form.
Words stressed on their penultimate syllable: almost always it has an open accent, except in the infinitive form of the verbs créixer, néixer, ésser, and in words such as préstec, cérvol and préssec.
Words stressed on their antepenultimate syllable or on a previous syllable: it has always an open accent, except in the words cérvola, Dénia, feréstega ed església.

Accent vowel I

Vowel I, if accentuated, has always the closed accent: Í

Accent vowel O

Words stressed on the last syllable: it has almost always a closed accent, except in words such as això, allò and però.
Words stressed on their penultimate syllable: it has almost always an open accent, except in words such as estómac, córrer and their derivatives, and in the verbal forms fórem, fóreu, fóssim and fóssiu.
Words stressed on their antepenultimate syllable or on a previous syllable: it has always an open accent, except in the words fórmula, pólvora, tómbola, góndola, tórtora, escórpora.

Accent vowel U

Vowel U, if accentuated, has always the closed accent: Ú

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