Palabras graves o llanas

Words that have an accent on the penultimate sylable

Palabras graves or llanas are those that have the stress on the penultimate syllable, (i.e., second from last); for example:

casa (ca-sa)

amigo (a-mi-go)

estrella (es-tre-lla)

árbol (ár-bol)

carácter (ca-rác-ter)

Palabras graves/llanas will have the orthographic accent [´] when they end in a consonant that is not n or s.)

Important note

In pronunciation, we often talk about "acento" and "tilde". We refer to the "acento" to say which syllable receives the highest intensity when pronouncing the word. However we talk about "tilde" when we refer to the "written or typed accent" on the highest intensity syllable of the word.

For example:

camiseta, mesa, árbol, nel, beso

All these words are accentuated on their penultimate sylable, but only árbol and túnel have a "tilde" [´]