This Spanish Easy Review grammar quiz deals with the importance of accent marks. In English we have many words that are spelled the same but have different meanings such as 'row'. A row could mean the lining up of things such as a row of chairs. Row could also be an action verb such as to row a boat. Words that are spelled the same but have different meanings are known as homonyms. The only way we can tell if a word has a different meaning is how that word is used in the context of a sentence.
Spanish also has many words that are spelled the same but they each possess a slight difference over the other.
That difference is the accent mark that is placed over a vowel. Not only does the accent mark change the meaning of the word but it also changes how the word is pronounced. Vowels that have accent marks have a slightly stronger sound than those that do not. Because accent marks completely change a word's meaning, it is important to train your eyes to pick up the accent marks, as well as train the ears to hear the different emphasis placed on the accented vowel. Let's look at one example.
In Spanish, when you see the word si it means if. Now, let’s place an accent mark above the 'i' in si so that now you get sí. Notice that the mark above the 'i' is not a dot but is rather a little line that slants slightly towards the right. On some vowels the accent mark is easy to pick out but when it is over the 'i' it will take a little more eye training to quickly pick it up. The Spanish word with the accented 'i', sí means yes. That little accent mark makes a huge difference in the meaning of the word.
Here is a list of some Spanish words that are spelled the same but one has an accent mark. See how the accent mark changes the meaning of the word.
|estás||you are (familiar)|
|papa||potato / Pope|
|papá||dad / daddy|
Study each Spanish word carefully. Pay close attention to the spelling of each word and where the accent mark is placed, if there is an accent mark. Then move on to the quiz. There are ten words that are given. For each word, you will need to locate the correct Spanish word and spelling, including any accent mark. Challenge yourself to take the quiz without looking back at this introduction.