The Italian accent
The accent determines the pronunciation of the words. In Italian it is always and only used on vowels, and never on consonants.
In Italian we distinguish between:
- tonic accent;
- graphic accent.
1. The tonic accent
All Italian words have the tonic accent which falls on one of the syllables of the word and determines a more marked pronunciation of this syllable. This type of accent is not represented graphically.
2. The graphic accent
Unlike the tonic accent, not all words in Italian have a graphic accent. This type of accent, as the name suggests, must be written in the spelling of the word and generally falls on the last syllable.
Words that have an accent at the end of the word are called truncated.
The graphic accent is in turn divided into:
- acute accent (upwards);
- grave accent (down).
The acute graphic accent is found in words such as:
sé, perché, poiché, affinché, né ecc.
The acute accent indicates that in these cases the “e” must be pronounced closed.
The grave graphic accent is present in the words:
è, caffè, tè, ecc.
In this case, the “e” must be pronounced open.