Ésta or éste is used as a stand-in for a noun it represents. Without the accents they are used as qualifiers next to the noun. Examples:
- "Éste es un regalo para ti." - This is a gift for you.
- "Este regalo es para ti." This gift is for you.
- "Ésta es tu llave." This is your key.
- "Esta canción es sobre ti." This song is about you.
"Before 1959, the accent was always written on demonstrative pronouns... For the last fifty years, the Academy has repeatedly said that the accents should not be written on these words unless there is real danger of ambiguity. But ambiguity is so rare and so easy to avoid that in practice one never need write the accent."
A New Reference Guide of Modern Spanish
Thanks mcgwn! I'm using DL and StudySpanish website in parallel. SS seems to be suggesting that since 1959 no accents are needed on the este/a!!!???http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/demonstratives.htm
)Here we have adjectives which must match in gender and number to the noun they modify
singular masculine ---este (this) ese (that) aquel (that) plural masculine ---estos (these) esos (those) aquellos (those)
singular feminine ---esta (this) esa (that) aquella (that) plural feminine ---estas (these) esas (those) aquellas (those)
Note that the masculine singular forms don't end in -o.
Now here we have pronouns that replace nouns, have neuter gender and have accents to distinguish them from adjectives
Singular masculine éste (this) ése (that) aquél (that) Plural masculine éstos (these) ésos (those) aquéllos (those)
Singular feminine ésta (this) ésa (that) aquélla (that) Plural feminine éstas (these) ésas (those) aquéllas (those)
Singular neuter esto (this) eso (that) aquello (that)
Azizspanish as you see esto doesn't have an accent but ésta can. As well está is the third person (él, ella,). So if you understand the three ways esta is used your problem is solved.
I wish DL had a notebook feature or clips feature where you could save replies like this that explain stuff summarily and so well; Ditto for lagos response above! What do you think DL?
And to help clarify the distinction between adjective and noun, which helped me understand this, it might help to put it in English:
This is my car. ("This" acting as pronoun.) Éste
This car is mine ("This" acting as adjective.) Este
The "notebook feature" is a very good idea. I've probably come across at least a dozen or so responses like the two you mention that were worth storing off as references.
Anyway we can pass this idea to Luis or someone on DL staff, maybe using the replies by Iago and rmcgwn as examples?
Yes saving responses can come in handy. I do it all the time. I save them as bookmarks. I label them as simply as possible so I can quickly find them. But I do like the notebook idea because sometimes there may be only one or two responses on a page that I need to remember and then I wouldn't need to read through all of them.
You'll hear the difference in spoken language. The sonic differences between the two are particular in placement. The first sounds like Eehsta and the latter sounds closer to estaah. Written so much won't really matter as it is making sure you pronounce both of them differently.