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Diacritic

A diacritic mark or accent mark is an additional mark added to a basic letter.

Types of diacritical marks

Marks that are sometimes diacritics, but also have other uses, are:

Grave, acute, circumflex, cedilla and diaeresis are used in French. However, not all diacritics occur on all vowels in French:

  • Grave only occurs on e (è)
  • Acute occurs on e (é), a (á), and u (ú)
  • Circumflex occurs on all vowels: e (), a (), i (), o (), and u ()
  • Diaeresis occurs on e (), and i ()

Umlaut is used in German on a (Ä/ä), o (Ö/ö), and u (Ü/ü).

Diaeresis is used in Dutch. For example in "rune" it means that the u and i are separately pronounced in their usual way, and not in the way that the combination ui is normally pronounced. Thus it works as a separation sign and not as an indication for an alternative version of the i.

Among the Scandinavian languages, Danish and Norwegian use ash ( æ ), o-slash ( ø ) and a-ring or a-armstrong ( å ). Swedish uses a-umlaut ( ä ) and o-umlaut ( ö ) in the place of ash and o-slash, but also uses a-circle ( å ).

Acute, diaeresis and tilde are used in Spanish.

Acute, cedilla, diaeresis and tilde are used in Portuguese.

Grave, acute, cedilla and diaeresis are used in Catalan.

Acute, diaeresis, and double acute accent are used in Hungarian.

Caron is used in many Slavic and the three Baltic languages to signify either palatalisation[?] or iotation[?].

Breve and circumflex are used in Esperanto

Umlaut, used only on u (), in Chinese Romanizations.

Different languages use different rules to put diacritic characters in alphabetical order. French treats letters with diacritical marks the same as the underlying letter for purposes of ordering and dictionaries. The Scandinavian languages, by contrast, treat the diacritics as new and separate letters of the alphabet, and sort them after z. Other languages treat diacritically marked letters as variants of the underlying letter, but alphabetize them following the unmarked letter.

Non-pure abjads (such as Hebrew and Arabic script) and abugidas use diacritics for denoting vowels (not in the list above). Arabic also uses diacritical marks to distinguish between different consonants, e.g. ب = b, and ت = t.

See also: Alphabet

On Macintosh computers, there are keyboard shortcuts for the most common diacritics:

  • option-e followed by a vowel: places an acute accent.
  • option-u followed by a vowel: places a diaeresis.
  • option-n followed by a vowel or n: places a tilde.
  • option-` followed by a vowel: places a grave accent.
  • option-i followed by a vowel: places a circumflex.
  • option-c: places a c cedilla

For Unicode listing for Windows, see below:


Char. Char. Description Windows Alt+

(ASCII keyboard letter followed by their Alt+ number)

(The following list contains both letters with diacritics and other special characters[?]. Perhaps non-diacritic special characters should be moved to a new page.)

‚ Single Low-9 Quotation Mark 0130

ƒ Small Letter f with Hook 0131

„ Double Low-9 Quotation Mark 0132

… Horizontal Ellipsis 0133

† Dagger 0134

‡ Double Dagger 0135

‰ Per Mille Sign 0137

Š Capital S with caron 0138

‹ Single left-pointing angle quotation mark 0139

ΠCapital Ligature Oe 0140

Ž Capital Z with caron 0142

‘ Left single quotation mark 0145

’ Right single quotation mark 0146

“ Left double quotation mark 0147

” Right double quotation mark 0148

• Bullet 0149

– En dash 0150

— Em dash 0151

˜ Small Tilde 0152

™ Trademark Sign 0153

š Small s with caron 0154

› Single right-pointing angle quotation mark 0155

œ Small ligature oe 0156

ž Small z with caron 0158

Ÿ Capital Y with Diaeresis 0159

Inverted Exclamation Mark 0161

Cent sign 0162

Pound sign 0163

Currency Sign 0164

Yen sign 0165

Broken Bar 0166

Section Sign 0167

Diaeresis 0168

Copyright Sign 0169

Feminine Ordinal Indicator 0170

Left-pointing double angle quotation mark 0171

Not sign 0172

- Soft Hyphen 0173

Registered Sign 0174

Macron 0175

Degree Sign 0176

Plus-Minus Sign 0177

Superscript Two 0178

Superscript Three 0179

Acute accent 0180

Micro sign 0181

Pilcrow sign 0182

Middle dot 0183

Cedilla 0184

Superscript One 0185

Masculine ordinal indicator 0186

Right-pointing double angle quotation mark 0187

Fraction 1/4 0188

Fraction 1/2 0189

Fraction 3/4 0190

Inverted question mark 0191

Capital A with grave 0192

Capital A with acute 0193

Capital A with circumflex 0194

Capital A with tilde 0195

Capital A with Diaeresis 0196

Capital A with ring above 0197

Capital Letter AE 0198

Capital C with Cedilla 0199

Capital E with grave 0200

Capital E with acute 0201

Capital E with circumflex 0202

Capital E with diaeresis 0203

Capital I with grave 0204

Capital I with acute 0205

Capital I with circumflex 0206

Capital I with diaeresis 0207

Capital Eth 0208

Capital N with tilde 0209

Capital O with grave 0210

Capital O with acute 0211

Capital O with circumflex 0212

Capital O with tilde 0213

Capital O with diaeresis 0214

Muliplication Sign 0215

Capital O with slash 0216

Capital U with grave 0217

Capital U with acute 0218

Capital U with circumflex 0219

Capital U with diaeresis 0220

Capital Y with acute 0221

Capital Thorn 0222

Small sharp s 0223

Small a with grave 0224

Small a with acute 0225

Small a with circumflex 0226

Small a with tilde 0227

Small a with diaeresis 0228

Small a with ring above 0229

Small letter ae 0230

Small c with cedilla 0231

Small e with grave 0232

Small e with acute 0233

Small e with circumflex 0234

Small e with diaeresis 0235

Small i with grave 0236

Small i with acute 0237

Small i with circumflex 0238

Small i with diaeresis 0239

Small letter eth 0240

Small n with tilde 0241

Small o with grave 0242

Small o with acute 0243

Small o with circumflex 0244

Small o with tilde 0245

Small o with diaeresis 0246

Division sign 0247

Small o with slash 0248

Small u with grave 0249

Small u with acute 0250

Small u with circumflex 0251

Small u with diaeresis 0252

Small y with acute 0253

Small letter thorn 0254

Small y with diaeresis 0255



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