Cuando without an accent

PeterA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Cuando without an accent

I thought I understood that an accent is used when cuándo is a question but now It’s also used when it isn’t. So when do we use cuando without an accent? I can’t work it out. 

Asked 2 years ago
JohnC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Peter,

Do you have an example? Usually the ones that catch us out are the exclamatory sentences like "How long [until when] is that racket going to go on!" Hasta cuándo va a continuar ese ruido. Note the exclamation mark to distinguish it from a question. Frankly I haven't seen many of them but they are there.

The indirect questions can be tricky to distinguish too (they were for me) but if you work through the examples they begin to make sense.

Saludos. John 

PeterA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks. It was in a recommended test which are random but when I come across it again I will post it. I thought it was a mistake at first but obviously not. It's a confusing one.

PeterA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I forgot you can view your test history.

La pantalla no dice cuándo aterriza el avión.

Luis me explicó cómo llegar a la estación.

Neither of these are questions or exclamations. I don't understand why they have accents.

DavidC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Peter - They both refer to (or relate to) questions, namely: (i) "When is the aeroplane scheduled to land?", and (ii) "How can I find my way to the station?" 

Compare: "The birds were singing when we visited the park" - Here, the 'cuando' would not carry an accent because nobody is specifically asking a question; i.e., it is purely descriptive.

PeterA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thanks, that makes it clearer but on what occasions is cuando used with no accent? They all seem to be related to a question?

DavidC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Peter - [I added the 'non-accent' example to my post (see above^) at exactly the same time when you were typing in yours !] ... In my counter-example, the sentence makes sense just by itself; i.e., it is unllikely that somebody is actually asking "When were the birds singing?"

PeterA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Right. Thanks again. 

ClaraC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

David,

You've given a perfect explanation here, just great! 

By the way, I meant to ask you in a previous post... Do you recommend the dictionary that you use- Diccionario Clave? I've noticed that you mention it quite often in your posts. I'm looking for a good Spanish dictionary at the moment, so I'd be grateful for your advice. 

Clara 

DavidC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hello there Clare -

Yes - it is the "Diccionario de Uso del Español Actual CLAVE" published by Ediciones SM, Madrid: I often refer to it. Sometimes it mentions when a word was derived from Arabic, which interests me because I tried [with only modest success !] to learn Arabic while working in Dubai. The dictionary is accompanied by a CD [containing all its words] with a 'reverse alphabetic' option - which was indispensable when compiling lists of nouns ending in "-ia"/"-ía" and "-io"/"-ío" [attempting to construct guidelines as to which endings were more common] - see:

http://dlmcn.com/page2s.html

The CLAVE CD also led to the article [in the same site] on  "e>i and e>ie stem-changes in '-ir' verbs".

It would, however, be best to send me an e-mail if you want to clarify anything - or if you notice any mistakes !

Un abrazo,

David M

ClaraC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi again David,

Well it's taken me an age to find your message just now! My apologies, I hadn't realised you'd replied to my question re. the Spanish dictionary.

Thanks so much for this, I can now purchase it with confidence. I'm sure it will be extremely useful and will save me having to bother Inma too much. 

Although I would undoubtedly be unable to tackle Arabic, I'm always interested in the origin of Spanish words. I'm impressed that you had a go at learning it, I imagine it must be quite difficult. 

Thank you also for the link to your blog, lots of really great reading for me there, which I'm certain I'll enjoy.

Much gracias David!

Saludos y un abrazo 

Clara 

Cuando without an accent

I thought I understood that an accent is used when cuándo is a question but now It’s also used when it isn’t. So when do we use cuando without an accent? I can’t work it out. 

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