The accent (stress) - Ο τόνος

The accent (ο τόνος), is a little line that we put on top of vowels in the written speech, in order to demonstrate the emphasis on a particular syllable.

The things you always need to remember about the Greek accent:

1. It goes on every single word, except for the words that have only one syllable, of course. In that case, there is no need to show where the stress goes. Never forget the accent when you write in Greek, it is considered a huge mistake!


Η μητερα μου ειναι καλη.  

This sentence is completely wrong. There are no accents. Let's make it right:

H μητέρα μου είναι καλή.My mother is good.

You see what I did? I added the accent to the words "μητέρα", "είναι" and "καλή". The first has three syllables and the second and third have two syllables each. They need their accents.
But what about the words  "Η" and "μου"? Exactly! They don't need any accent, because they have only one syllable each.
Actually, it is wrong to put an accent on words that have one syllable, with few exceptions that require it and we will talk about later.
2. It has to be used on words that start with a capital vowel (if it is stressed of course), either they are proper names, or they are in the beginning of the sentence. It is put to the left of the capital vowel.
But you don't use the accent on words that are all capital letters, such as signs and headlines.

Έβρεξε πολύ χθες.
It rained a lot yesterday.

Η Άννα είναι έξυπνη.
Anna is clever.

DO NOT ENTER (lit. entrance is forbidden)

3. The double vowels (αι, οι, ει, ου, υι)  and the vowel combinations (αυ and ευ) also take an accent when stressed, but always on the second letter of the combination.

Είμαι, αίμα, πηγαίνω, κούπα, τοίχος.
Ρεύμα, καύσιμο.
4. I suppose there is no need to say that but I will, anyway. You never put an accent on consonants!

In this video (2017) you'll find everything you need to know about the Greek accent (τόνος).
Don't forget to subscribe to my channel for more videos like this! I upload new Greek lessons around three times a week.


  1. I love your blog! I have been looking for something like this for over a year. I am a total neophyte when it comes to Greek, but I've always wanted to learn it.

    1. Hello! Thank you so much! I hope that you'll enjoy the new look of the blog and of course my new video lessons on YouTube!


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