In Italian we have to write the accent mark only on words that have the stress on the last syllable (città, caffè, università…). If the stress it’s somewhere else on the word the right pronunciation is a bit of a guess but don’t worry to much!!! Italian hasn’t got a big number of very long words and you will learn how to pronounce them by repetition!

The direction of the accent in Italian is not a big problem either: the accent is always grave on

A – I – O – U  (à, ì, ò, ù).

Just the “e” at the end of the word sometimes carries a grave accent and some other times an acute one.

The distinction is not considered very important, though: an “e” with a grave accent is not really pronounced differently to an “e” with an acute accent. That’s because in Italian the only function of the accent is to let you know that you have to stress that particular vowel. The direction is just a graphic detail. However here some guidelines relating to the most common words ending in a stressed “e”:

“E” carries the grave accent (è)

on the verb è (he/she/it is)

on the words caffè (coffee) and (tea)

“E” carries the acute accent (é)

on the word perché (why or because)

on the monosyllable . Non sono né alto né basso. (I am neither tall nor short)

Grave accent and acute accent
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