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Aun vs Aún

Today, we will talk about adverbs and punctuation. Are you familiar with the word aun in Spanish? Do you know when to write that word with accent on the letter 'ú'? Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Which word would you use in the following sentences, aun or aún?:

 

____ si te digo la verdad, no me crees

Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me

 

Estamos ____ en la fase de entrevistas.

We are still in the interview phase.

 

Let's read the following explanation to find out the answer.

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The meaning of 'aun' in Spanish

The adverb aun (without graphic accent) refers to the English adverb 'even'. Let's see a couple of examples:

 

Aun estudiando mucho, no pasó el examen

Even studying hard, he did not pass the exam

 

Yo hice aun más de lo que quería

I did even more than I wanted

 

he vivido demasiado, aun con tanta historia

I have lived too much, even with so much history

Captions 7-8, Kany Garcia Estigma de amor

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Also, keep in mind that when aun is followed by así to mean "even so," it doesn't need an accent. Le's take a look:

 

Revolvimos los planetas, y aun así te vas

We stirred the planets, and even so you leave

Captions 16-17, Belanova Y aun así te vas

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When to write aún with an accent

When the word aun works as the English adverb 'still', you need to need to put the accent on the letter "ú". Let's see some examples:

 

Para los que aún no me conocen, mi nombre es Natalia.

For those who still don't know me, my name is Natalia.

Caption 3, Natalia de Ecuador Consejos: haciendo amigos como adultos

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Así que aún queda la pequeña esperanza

So, there's still a little hope

Caption 44, Rosa Fuente de Piedra

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Durante este período, México aún tenía el nombre de la Nueva España.

During this period, Mexico still had the name New Spain.

Caption 16, Paseando con Karen Monterrey - Museo de Historia Mexicana

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Considering the above, let's unveil the answer to our quiz:

 

Aun si te digo la verdad, no me crees

Even if I tell you the truth, you don't believe me

 

Estamos aún en la fase de entrevistas.

We are still in the interview phase.

Caption 19, Negocios La solicitud de empleo - Part 1

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And that's it for today. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don't forget to send us your comments and questions.

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Tilde, Acento and Accent Marks in Spanish

Let's start this lesson with a little question. Let's take the following sentence:

Me gusta Caravaggio, porque bueno, estudié en Italia,

I like Caravaggio, because well, I studied in Italy,

Caption 88, María Marí Su pasión por su arte - Part 1

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In Spanish, what do you call the little diagonal line above the final "é" in the word estudié? Do you call it acento? Or, do you call it tilde? Do you know what is the difference between tilde and acento?

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Tilde in English vs. tilde in Spanish

If you are an English speaker, the first thing to know is that the word tilde in English doesn't have the same exact meaning as the word tilde in Spanish. In fact, in English the definition is quite clear:

1 : a mark ˜ placed especially over the letter n (as in Spanish señor sir) to denote the sound \nʸ\ or over vowels (as in Portuguese irmã sister) to indicate nasality (Merriam-Webster).

 

However, the definition of tilde in Spanish is kind of ambiguous and creates a bit of confusion. According to the Diccionario de la lengua española, tilde can be referred to the following:

1. acento (accent) as in the sentence Raúl se escribe con tilde en la u (Raúl is written with accent on the "u"). 

2. sign in the shape of a line, sometimes wavy, that is part of some letters such as the letter "ñ".

 

If we take that definition, we can see that the term tilde in Spanish can be used for both the tilde over the ñ as well as accent marks over vowels:

Corazón (heart)

Mañana (tomorrow)

 

However, it is worth to say that the symbol over the letter "ñ" is also known as virgulilla.

 

Acento and tilde

As we previously saw, the Diccionario de la lengua española uses the term acento (accent) as the first definition for the word tilde. However, that brings even more ambiguity since the word acento has various meanings in Spanish. In fact, it can refer to the following:

 

1. The stress you put on the syllable of a given word

2. The graphic sign you put on some vowels

3. The diagonal line that you place on the vowels of stressed syllables in words such as cámara (camera) or útil (useful)

4. The way of speaking of certain people

 

The bottom line

As you can see, the definition of tilde and acento can be confusing. However, it is best to use the word acento when you are referring to the stress or emphasis you give to a particular syllable. On the other hand, if you want to refer to the graphic accent you put on top of some vowels, it is better to use the word tilde. Let's see some examples:

 

Ratón (mouse): Acento (in the last syllable 'tón'), tilde (on the 'ó' of the last syllable)

Amor (love): Acento (in the last syllable 'mor'), tilde (it doesn't have a tilde)

 

That's it for today. We hope you enjoy this lesson. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to hear back from you.

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Spanish punctuation: 8 simple rules for writing better

Spanish punctuation may seem difficult if you are just learning the language. However, if you keep in mind the following rules, you will definitely improve your writing and the use of punctuation in Spanish.

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1. Learn the names of the basic punctuation signs in Spanish

 

  1. Punto (Period)
  2. Coma (Comma)
  3. Punto y coma (Semicolon)
  4. Dos puntos (Colon)
  5. Comillas (Quotation marks)
  6. Signo de interrogación (Question mark)
  7. Signo de exclamación (Exclamation point)
  8. Paréntesis (Parentheses)
  9. Corchetes (Square brackets)

 

2. Remember that question marks and exclamation points are always double-sided

In Spanish, you always need to use opening and closing punctuation. Keep this in mind especially for question marks and exclamation points.

 

a. Question marks ¿?

¿Qué más cosas hay en el sueño?

What other things are there in the dream?

Caption 15, El Aula Azul La Doctora Consejos: Hay y estar

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b. Exclamation points ¡!

¡Todo el mundo paga para que lo escuchen!

Everyone pays for them to listen to you!

Caption 45, Yago 14 La peruana - Part 7

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c. Parentheses () 

d. Square brackets []

D.A.S. [Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad].

A.D.S [Administrative Department of Security].

Caption 28, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capitulo 4 - Part 10

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e. Quotation marks " "

 

3. Never put a period after a question mark or an exclamation point

After a question mark or exclamation point, you can put any punctuation mark except a period.

 

4. Use capital letters after a closing punctuation mark that's at the end of a statement

¡Acompáñame! Este recorrido inicia en la Calle Doctor Coss,

Join me! This tour begins at Doctor Coss Street,

Captions 5-6, Paseando con Karen Canal Santa Lucía

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5. Avoid punctuation marks before an opening parenthesis

Don't put a comma or semicolon before an opening parenthesis. However, feel free to put those marks after the closing parenthesis.

 

6. Put a period after a closing quotation mark

If you want to put a period at the end of a sentence that is between quotations marks, you need to put the period after the closing quotation mark.

La cita de hoy es de Aldous Huxley y dice así: "Todos los hombres son dioses para su perro".

Today's quote is by Aldous Huxley and goes like this: "To his dog, every man is Napoleon" [literally "To their dog, all men are gods].

Captions 8-10, Los casos de Yabla El perrito malcriado - Part 1

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7. Use lower case after a colon

Unless you are quoting something (as in the example we mentioned for rule 6) or writing a particular document (e.g. a letter), you always need to use lower case after a colon.

Luego tendrá usted que rellenar un formulario con las siguientes cuestiones: país de recogida, ciudad de recogida,

Then you will have to fill out a form with the following questions: country of pickup, city of pickup,

Captions 14-16, Raquel Alquiler de coche

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8. Use lower case if there is a comma or semicolon before an opening question mark or exclamation point

Sí, Zárate, ¿qué pasó?

Yes, Zarate, what happened?

Caption 20, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capitulo 4 - Part 12

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There are many more rules regarding punctuation in Spanish. However, we invite you to keep in mind the rules we just mentioned here because that way you'll certainly improve your writing in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

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