In this lesson, we will discuss how to PRONOUNCE words in Spanish. Specifically, we'll be talking about where to place the EMPHASIS in a word. Unlike in English, Spanish words are always read EXACTLY as they are written. You just need to know a few basic rules.
Let's look at the two general rules.
If the word ends in a vowel or 'n' or 's', the stress should be on the SECOND-TO-LAST syllable.
In all OTHER words, the stress should be on the LAST syllable.
Let's apply these rules to some examples:
We have: Chicos - some boys Libertad - liberty Programa - program Monitores - monitors Papel - paper Hablan - they speak Hablar - to speak
So does 'chicos' end in a vowel or n or s? Yes it does; the emphasis goes to the second-to-last syllable CHIcos
Libertad - does it end in a vowel, 'n' or 's'? No it doesn't. The emphasis stays on the last syllable. liberTAD
Programa - does it end in a vowel, 'n' or 's'? Yes it does. ProGRAma
Monitores - does it end in a vowel, 'n' or 's'? Yes it does. The accent goes to the second-to-last syllable. moniTOres Papel - vowel, 'n' or 's'? Nope. It's paPEL
Hablan - vowel, 'n' or 's'? Yes. HAblan.
Hablar - vowel, 'n' or 's'? Nope. Emphasis stays on the last syllable. habLAR.