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DELE News

11/13/2012

Changes to rules on accent marks


The traditional use of accent marks on some words has disappeared, for example on the pronouns éste, ése, aquél and their feminine and plural counterparts
Category: General

The latest edition of Ortografía de la lengua española (Spanish Language Spelling), published in 2010, officially eliminates the following accent mark usages:
On the adverb sólo, equal to solamente, as in "solo quiero un café, gracias" (I only want coffee, thank you). Solo, when used as an adjective, meaning alone, has never taken an accent mark, "Ayer fui yo solo al cine".
On the pronouns éste, ése, aquél, and their feminine and plural counterparts, as in "este es de Juan, ese es de Elena y aquel, de José" (This is Juan's, that is Elena's and that one over there is Jose's). When used as adjectives, these words have never taken accent marks, as in "este libro es de Juan, ese diccionario es de Elena y aquel teléfono es de José" (this is Juan's book, that dictionary is Elena's and that telephone is Jose's).
When the word o is placed next to number, as in "Miguel compró 6 o 7 libros en la Feria" (Miguel book 6 or 7 books at the fair), or as in "apartamentos de 3 o 4 dormitorios" (apartments with 3 or 4 bedrooms). The word has never taken an accent mark in its other uses.
On monosyllable words such as guión (script), truhán (rogue), and Sión (Zion), as in (El muy truhan no quiso escribir un guion sobre los acontemcientos en el edificio Sion" (the rogue did not want to write about the events in the Zion building).
In 1999, the accent marks of other monosyllable words were also eliminated, for example rió (laughed), "se rio mucho con la comedia" (He laughed a lot watching the comedy); guió (guided), "El Sherpa guio a los alpinistas hasta el pico" (the Sherpa guided the mountain climbers to the peak); fió (trust) "el tender no me fio y no pude llevarme la compra" (the shopkeeper didn't trust me and I couldn't take my purchase); lió (after the meal, he had a cup of coffee and calmly rolled a cigarette").
(Information from Fundéau BBVA, at www.fundeu.es)