The stress on Italian words can be on different syllables. Let’s learn different scenarios and rules.
Every single Italian word have a stress. We call it accento tonico. Unless the stress is on the last syllable, we do not write it, so you really need to get used to exceptions. When we count the syllables of words, we start from the last one and proceed right to left. Depending on the syllable on which the stress is, we can have:
Accento piano. (plain stress)
The vast majority of Italian words have the stress on the penultimate syllable, hence the musical cadence of our language. If you have doubts on a word and need to guess, that’s the easiest way to go. – e.g – Lavoro, Matita, Spaghetti, Vacanza…
Accento sdrucciolo. (third to last)
The stress is on the terzultima sillaba, third to last, and it’s not uncommon. There are rules helping us to identify this family of words. Please see below. – e.g. – Nuvola, Davide, Napoli, Gomito …
Accento tronco. (truncated stress)
The stress is on the last syllable. In this case, we have to write it. Some words are: città, perché, vanità, caffè…
In some rare cases, the stress can fall on onte fourth or fifth to last syllable.
Experience will help you to understand and remember when the stress is not piano. If you have questions, get in touch with comments or email. Thanks for reading.