This website uses cookies

On this site we use technical cookies, which are necessary for the correct functioning and improvement of the user's browsing experience. 

We use third-party cookies to count visits and access data to the site, but they are not associated with the IP and these can also be considered technical cookies. 

For embedded Youtube videos we have activated the "advanced privacy mode".

Italian tutor

Courses Holiday Culture

Grave accent and acute accent

Posted in Italian languages and grammar on Feb 08, 2018

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 alto basso. (I am neither tall nor short)

Related post

Vocal open or closed

Posted in Italian languages and grammar on Sep 13, 2018

Some words accented on the same syllable change meaning depending on whether the pronunciation of the E or O is either open or closed.

Accent and syllable tonic

Posted in Italian languages and grammar on Dec 18, 2018

When speaking, the tone of the voice falls on a particular syllable, called tonic. It is said that the accent "falls" on that syllable.


I am a 44 years old certified Italian teacher with a degree in politics and a PhD in modern history.