I was taught that, besides ñ, the only diacritics in Castilian are acute accents on vowels, to indicate the atypical placement of stress.

In subtitles for the English version of the Mexico-based 2017 film Coco, which also has occasional Spanish, I sometimes see vowels with grave accents instead. Examples include espèrame instead of espérame, dejarè instead of dejaré, and què instead of qué.

Are these typos, or is Mexican Spanish different in this regard?

  • i haven't understood the grave or accute accents, someone should record himself to explain the difference between this accents if they were used in spanish.
    – Mike
    Commented Jun 8, 2018 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


No, Spanish (of any standard written variety) only uses acute accents in these circumstances. This seems like an error on the subtitles.

See, for example, on the official Latin American Disney channel on YouTube it employs only acute accents in the videos' (hardcoded) subtitles:

Coco Tráiler

You may occasionally see grave accents in some proper nouns in Spanish derived from other languages (e.g. some towns in Catalonia: Puigcerdà Catalan, Bossòst Aranese), but even in these cases they mostly also have Spanishised versions (Puigcerdá, Bosost).

Note: in addition to ñ 1, á, é, í, ó, ú 2 there is also ü to show a 'u' is pronounced when occurring between a 'g' and an 'e' or 'i' e.g. lingüística, güey.

1. Not recognised as an 'accent' by natives, but a distinct letter from n. Similar to how in English 'j' isn't seen as just an 'i' with a tail.

2. Also ý occurs in a handful of archaic proper nouns.

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