Certain Spanish words are given an accent and subsequent pronunciation stress when they are used in a question, including an indirect question, or exclamation. These words do not always have an accent and are only given the accent to indicate the question or exclamation.
Let’s look at some of these words together:
¿Qué?: What? Which? ¿Qué quieres? What would you like?
¿Quién? ¿Quienes?: Who? Whom? ¿Quiénes son ellos? Who are they?
¿Cómo?: How? ¿Cómo estás? How are you?
¿Dónde?: Where? ¿Dónde estás? Where are you?
¿Cuál? ¿Cuáles?: Which one? Which ones? ¿Cuál es más nuevo? Which one is newer?
¿Cuándo?: When? ¿Cuándo vienes? When are you coming?
¿Cuánto? ¿Cuánta? ¿Cuántos? ¿Cuántas?: How much? How many? ¿Cuánto cuesta el libro? How much does the book cost?
¿Por qué?: Why? ¿Por qué dices eso? Why do you say that?
In Spanish you will also see a few “Diéresis”. These are also known as “Umlauts”.
A diéresis is two dots placed above the “U” when the “U” is sounded in the combinations of “Güi” or “Güe”. Without the diéresis, the “U” would be silent and serve only to indicate that the “G” is pronounced as a soft “G” rather the “G” sound that is more similar to the “J”.
Some Spanish words that have diéresis are: