There are words in Spanish which have different meanings when written with or without a written accent. Let's look at cuando vs cuándo.
Cuándo with an accent
Cuando without an accent
The function of the word cuándo/cuando indicates if it does or does not require a written accent. If it helps you to remember, even though the most natural translation for both is "when", translate the phrase into English and see if you can replace "when" with "at what moment in time"; if so then you know it is cuándo with the written accent. Look at these examples:
- Cuándo = when = "at what moment in time" (interrogative and exclamative adverb)
- Cuando = when (relative adverb)
Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics
Examples and resources
Q&A Forum 2 questions, 4 answers
the use of cuándo/cuando in these two statements
cuándo with an accent can be translated as "at what moment in time" while cuando without an accent cannot.
1. Llámame cuando tengas un momento libre. (Call me at what moment in time you have some time ??????)
2. Dime cuándo vas a viajar a Italia. (Tell me at what moment in time you are travelling to Italy) OK
Yeah, my peanut brain still sees no difference. #1 sounds awkward with "at what moment in time" substituting cuando, but still works for me. Kind of like, ... when you are available to have some time...
Would it help to think of cuándo as "at what moment in time", hmm, as almost a question instead of a statement? - "at what moment in time?".