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Spanish words are classified into 4 categories, aguda, grave, esdrújula and sobresdrújula, depending on where the words are stressed.
A written accent indicates where a word is stressed; however, not all words have the written accent. Therefore, the following rules will be helpful.
Agudas are stressed in the last syllable. All words that do not have a written accent and end in a consonant other n or s, the stress is on the last syllable.
Graves are stressed in the second to the last (penultimate) syllable. All words that do NOT have a written accent and end in n, s or a vowel, the stress is on the penultimate syllable.
Esdrújulas are stressed in the third from last (antepenultimate) syllable. They are always graphically accentuated.
Sobresdrújulas are stressed in the fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. from last syllable. They are always graphically accentuated. Generally, sobresdrújulas are adverbs, which end in mente.
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