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Palabras esdrújulas: Accent on the third-to-last syllable

Let’s talk about accentuation and pronunciation. Today, we’ll discuss the so-called palabras esdrújulas (proparoxytone words). That’s a weird name, isn’t? Before we talk about palabras esdrújulas, we need to remember something important.

 

As we previously mentioned, all words in Spanish are stressed on one syllable. Depending on where that stress falls, words are divided into the following groups:

 

Palabras agudas (oxytone words) | accent on the last syllable

Palabras graves (paroxytone words) | accent on the second-to-last syllable

Palabras esdrújulas (proparoxytone words) | accent on the third-to-last syllable

Palabras sobresdrújulas (over-proparoxytone words) | accent on any syllable before the third-to-last syllable

 

Let’s get into palabras esdrújulas with the following example:

 

Palabras como micrófono, pirámide

Words like "micrófono," [microphone], "pirámide" [pyramid]

Caption 44, Carlos explica Acentuación Cap. 4: Clasificación de las palabras según el acento

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The word micrófono has four syllables (mi | cró | fo | no) and the stress goes on the third-to-last syllable “cró.” Similarly, the word pirámide has four syllables (pi | | mi |de) and the stress also goes on the third-to-last syllable “.”

 

If you noticed it, the two proparoxytone words that we just mentioned bear a graphic accent (tilde) on their stressed syllables. And that’s exactly the beauty of the palabras esdrújulas. Unlike palabras agudas and palabras graves, which follow complex rules regarding the use of the graphic accent, the esdrújulas ALWAYS need to have a graphic accent. Let’s see more examples:

 

También nos dedicamos a música clásica.

Also, we do classical music.

Caption 13, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Paty

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ya construimos la cámara para grabar la película.

we already built the camera to film the movie.

Caption 16, Guillermina y Candelario Una película de terror - Part 1

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Yo realmente prefiero no dar mi número de mi tarjeta de crédito por teléfono.

I really prefer not to give my credit card number on the phone.

Caption 50, Cleer y Lida Reservando una habitación

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As you can see from the examples above, there are lots of palabras esdrújulas in the Spanish language and some of them are quite common. Before we go, one last curious thing to remember: 

 

The word esdrújula is also a esdrújula word!

 

That's it for now. If you feel like practicing a little bit more, take one of our videos and try to find all the proparoxytone words in it. And of course, don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions to newsletter@yabla.com.

 

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