Is there an easy way to remember where accent marks are placed such as? I am unable to distinguish the stress on the word at this time...Also, I don't know how to get the accent over the letters on my computer. Thank you.
In Spanish, you stress the second to last syllable of words with no accent mark ending in any vowel, n, or s. For words with no accent mark that end with a consonant other that n or s, you stress the last syllable. Whenever a word does not follow these rules, an accent mark is placed on the syllable that should be stressed. In addition, words that are spelled the same way but have different meanings use an accent mark to distinguish between them -- el and él, for example.
I use the US-international keyboard on Windows. You add it under control panel --> region and language --> keyboards and languages. Once you've added it, you switch to it by clicking on the little icon on the taskbar. Mine looks like a tiny keyboard. Once you've switched to it then you can add accent marks by typing ' then the vowel. Examples: áéíóú. To get just an apostrophe by itself hit ' then space. To type ñ use the tilde key ~ then n. ü is achieved by hitting " then u. Upside down question mark is made with the right Alt key + ? as so ¿ Finally, the upside down exclamation point ¡ is made by hitting the right Alt key + 1. It is very easy to use and you get used to it quite quickly.
Go to system preferences- Language and text or international if your system is 10.6 or below. if you switch your keyboard to spanish OR you get a spanish keyboard, it is easy. Mine real keyboard is a UK layout, so when I switch over the following things happen: the () shifts from 9 to 8, ¿? are on shift- (-) and shift =. Accents are for ú,á or accent aigu on the ' key, for è à etc on the [ key. ñ is on the ; key. If i have confused you enough now , enable 'keyboard viewer' in Language and Text, input sources, where you enabled the spanish keyboard. I also use the Spanish layout to write French, very handy. on yes the cédille ç is on the backslash :). have been doing that for years so I don't even look anymore. After a while you won't switch back to British or whatever you used before.
Is there an easy way to remember where accent marks are placed?
Sure. In Spanish a great many words are defined by the accented letters. Once you learn enough of the language you will know when and where to put the accents because you will know what word is meant. Until then don't don't worry about it. I use a program from http://www.onehourprogramming.com/ to use my keyboard to supply accents without disrupting my normal usage.