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Consider the following reference:

"If there isn't a written accent mark, every Spanish word that ends in a vowel, an "-n," or an "-s" has the stress fall on the second-to-last syllable (the "penultimate" syllable)"

However, if this rule is so, why is the "i" accented in the majority (if not all) of verbs when they are conjugated into the conditional tense. For example:

  • Mostaría

  • Echaría

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Because without the accent, the ia forms a diphthong resulting in the syllabification mos-tra-ria or e-cha-ria, and then the default stress would be on the tra or cha syllable instead of on the i.

Accents can also break up diphthongs when the weak vowel is also the stressed one, which is the case in verbs in the conditional tense.

  • It's worth noting that U and I are the weakest vowels in Spanish. – dockeryZ Jan 20 '16 at 22:06

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