Common Spanish Words with Accents

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  • 0:04 Getting Used to Common Words
  • 0:32 Interrogatives
  • 1:23 Simple Past & Future Forms
  • 2:47 Words Ending in -Sion or -Cion
  • 3:11 Some Everyday Words
  • 3:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

This lesson lists some daily use words that have an accent mark, and they include interrogatives, verbs, and nouns. Along with spelling, you have a pronunciation guide for each word as this will help you remember where the stress is.

Getting Used to Common Words

We remember things more easily when we do them everyday. Similarly with language, we remember more easily those words we use more often. In this lesson we're going to concentrate on common words that have a tilde, or 'accent mark.'

It's important to learn the specific rules that determine when a word has an accent mark in Spanish. In this lesson, we'll explore some of these rules as well as look at words with accent marks that are used often in daily conversation.


When you ask a question, the basic question word always has a tilde. It's important to remember that the same words, when used in statements, do not have a tilde. To illustrate, let's use the word cuando.

If you make a statement such as Cuando tengo tiempo, practico español (When I have time, I practice Spanish), the word cuando has no tilde.

However, when you ask a question such as ¿Cuándo estudias español? (When do you study Spanish?), the word cuando has a tilde.

Aside from cuándo, here are the most common question words:

  • qué (what)
  • cómo (how)
  • dóndé (where)
  • por qué (why)
  • quién (who)
  • cuánto (how much)
  • cuántos (how many)

Simple Past Forms

All verbs, whether regular or irregular, have an accent mark on the last syllable when conjugated in the simple past form. This applies only to yo (I), él, ella, usted (he, she, you-formal singular). For vosotros (you-informal plural), the accent goes on the second to last syllable. Let's take the regular verb estudiar (to study) to illustrate this.

  • yo estudié (I studied)
  • él, ella, usted estudió (he, she, you studied)
  • vosotros estudiásteis (you studied)

Simple Future Form

All verbs, regular or irregular, have an accent mark on the last syllable when conjugated in the simple future form. This applies to all personal pronouns, except nosotros (we). Let's take the regular verb estudiar again to illustrate this.

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