Emphasis in Spanish Part 2

Tell the difference between an instruction and preterite


We are back with another listening challenge to show the importance of emphasis in Spanish.  Can you tell the difference between the past and an order in Spanish?  We did a part one a while ago and Cody, as well as several other people, had problems.  If you want to watch that video you can do so here.

This video is going to be very similar to the first one we did.  But before we get into it lets review a few things first.  Liked we talked about in the last video in order to tell the difference it is all about listening for where the emphasis is on the word.  It is really easy to see when written because of the accent mark or tilde.  Check out this example.

Llamé a la secretaria. – I called the secretary

Llame a la secretaria. – Call the secretary

The tilde

Everything is the same except for that little accent mark or tilde over the “e” in the first sentence.  Did you notice how much the sentence changed with the use of the accent mark/tilde?  It changed an “order” or “instruction” to a sentence in “past”.  This is really easy to see when you have the word written down in front of you but can be a lot harder when you are just listening to someone speak.

Game time

So just like in the first video, we are going to do just that.  In the first part of the Spanish practice, Maria is going to say a word and you have to figure out what syllable in the word is getting the emphasis.  For the second part of the practice, Maria is going to say a sentence in Spanish and you will have to figure out if the sentence is an instruction or in the past.  You will do this by listening for the emphasis like in the first activity.  The emphasis that Maria puts on words in the sentence with accents will let you know if the sentence is in the past or if the sentence is an instruction.

Now if you have trouble when you are speaking Spanish giving the emphasis on words in the past, we have a tip for you.  Every time you see a tilde picture someone pinching you right as you are about to say it.  This will give you the emphasis that the tilde will need for people to understand.  Just make sure you do not go crazy with it and look as if you are an angry Spanish student.  Maria says that it is important to overexaggerate the sound and then over time as you speak, slowly dial it back so that it sounds more natural.



How did you do? Do you understand the importance of emphasis in Spanish?  It can be a hard topic to get your head around but if you keep practicing it will make sense.  Remember if you liked this video make sure to head over to youtube and give it a thumbs up and subscribe.

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For intermediate and advanced Spanish students we have a membership called Español En Uso.  It is like a gym membership for you Spanish.  Everything you need to get over any roadblocks with learning the language.  Inside the membership area, you will find several courses designed by Maria specifically for problems students at this level face.  Courses that will help you understand native speakers better and understand TV shows.  There is also a book and movie club with live discussion every month.  Also, there are live classes every month where Maria works with select students and helps them with their Spanish.  You also get access to our closed Facebook group where you can interact with other Spanish students like yourself and get feedback from Maria on your Spanish.  If you are interested click here or the image below!

espanol en uso emphasis in spanish

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Unlock your Spanish voice!

Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.

Unlock your Spanish voice!

Learn all the Spanish you need for real life.