Oxytone words: what they are, examples, accentuation

oxytone words are those whose syllable tonic is the last. Only oxytones ending in “a (s)”, “e (s)”, “o (s)”, “em”, “ens”, “éis”, “éu (s)”, “ói ( s)”, with the vowels “i (s)” and “u (s)” alone in the syllable, and with the vowel “i” of the verb forms ending in “-air” and “-uir”.

Read too: Tonic accent and graphic accent — what's the difference?

Examples of oxytone words

Oxytone words are those in which The last syllable is the tonic, as we can see in the following examples:

  • shovelyou;

  • TheThu;

  • hereju;

  • irlandes;

  • badat;

  • jackfruitre;

  • guaraat;

  • vaccinedog;

  • saci;

  • (she) doesfrog;

  • grandmotheryou;

  • jilol;

  • thereman;

  • (they) interhe comes;

  • heygnaws;

  • fihe;

  • (I) saí;

  • teafoot;

  • fuzil;

  • Thetroz;

  • spanishtar.

Accentuating oxytone words

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accent rule


Ending in “a(s)”, “e(s)”, “the(s)”, “in”, “ens”.

Panama, cajás, even, malês, filó, vines, vintém, viténs etc.

With an open diphthong: “éis”, “éu (s)”, “ói (s)”.

Papers, Hat, Hats, Destroys, Heroes etc.

In the vowels “i (s)” and “u (s)” alone in the syllable, even after a diphthong.

Açaí, açaí, trunk, trunks, Piauí etc.

In the vowel “i” of verb forms ending in “-air” and “-uir”.

distract her; destroy them etc.

Check out our video on: Accentuation of oxytones

Mispronunciation of oxytone words

The lack of knowledge about the stressed syllable of a word leads to prosody error. THE syllable is a prosody error that is characterized by the change of the stressed syllable of a word at the time of its pronunciation. Thus, an oxytone word can be pronounced, mistakenly, as a paroxysmal or vice versa.

Here are some examples of mispronunciation of oxytone words:

  • "hereyouhave” instead of “cateto have”;

  • morehave” instead of “misto have”;

  • At thebel” instead of “Nobeautiful”;

  • ruim” instead of “ruim”;

  • southtilde” instead of “sutilde”;

  • "urehave” instead of “ureto have”.

Oxytones, Paroxytones and Proparoxytones

→ oxytones

Words whose last syllable is stressed: xafrog, footdrês, withmer, anil etc.

→ Paroxytones

Words whose penultimate syllable is stressed: amizain, ágil, theçúcar, believevel etc.

→ Proparoxytones

Words whose antepenultimate syllable is stressed: airfly parallelpibeg, êsuccessful, angluttony etc.

Solved exercises on oxytone words

question 1

Read this sonnet by Augusto dos Anjos:

agony of a philosopher

I consult Phtah-Hotep. I read the obsolete
Rig-Veda. And, in the face of such works, I am not consoled...
The Unconscious haunts me and I roll in it
With the windy fury of the restless harmattan!

I am now witnessing the death of an insect...
Oh! all soil phenomena
Seem to perform from pole to pole
The ideal of Anaximander of Miletus!

In the heterogeneous areopagus hieratic
From ideas, I travel like a genius
From the soul of Haeckel to the cenobial soul...

Tear of the worlds the thick candle;
And in everything, like Goethe, I recognize
the empire of universal substance!

Mark the alternative that presents an oxytone word in the highlighted verse.

A) “The Unconscious haunts me and I roll in it”.

B) “Oh! all soil phenomena”

C) “They seem to perform from pole to pole”

D) “I run through ideas like a genius”

E) “Tear of the worlds the thick candle;”


Alternative C

In the highlighted verses, it is possible to identify only one oxytone word, that is, the verb “realizar”.

question 2

Mark the alternative where all words are oxytone.

A) Realism, magical, sober, yeah.

B) Bourgeois, contains, pointed out, here.

C) Someone, who, hands, disfigured.

D) Situation, nature, content, there.

E) Punishments, set, common, deadly.


Alternative E

The following words are oxytone: “burgeez”, “withhas”, “signslou”, “alman”, “situatesdog", "aread”, “punishtions”, “definir”, “withmum” and “morsuch”.

question 3

Which of the words below is a paroxytone?

A) Condor

B) Miser

C) interim

D) Subtle

E) novel


Alternative B

The words “withpain”, “yourtilde” and “notvel” are oxytones. Already "interim” is a proparoxytone. Thus, the only paroxysmal word is “thegoro”.

By Warley Souza
Grammar teacher

Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/gramatica/palavras-oxitonas.htm


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