I would like to write the capital letter form of "è"; many people suggest to do it by typing \'E which gives the accent in the opposite direction from left to right. How can I get the capital letter "è" with the accent that points to the left?

  • Without having tested: \'E gives É and \`e gives È. – Johannes_B Apr 3 '15 at 15:28
  • \`E is the correct accent. – egreg Apr 3 '15 at 15:32
  • Either you configure your editor for that, or, under Windows, use : Alt+0200 for É, Alt+0201 for É, Alt+0192 for À, Alt+0193 for Á, &c. There may also exist extended drivers for your keyboard. – Bernard Apr 3 '15 at 15:36
  • For people who use AZERTY keyboards (France, Belgium) on a Macintosh, ‘È’ is simply obtained by typing ` followed by E, and ‘É’ by shift-alt-& followed by E. – Franck Pastor Apr 3 '15 at 15:54
  • For Windows systems, there exists a driver that uses the same shortcuts as linux systems: CapsLock+é, CapsLock+è, &c. (I wonder if these shortcuts do not also work on a Macintosh). – Bernard Apr 3 '15 at 16:08

If you want a capital È with the accent grave, you use the backtick character (`), not the apostrophe character (').

The backtick is located in the upper left corner of your keyboard (assuming QWERTY) with the tilde (~), above the TAB and below the ESC keys.

The code should look like this:


Not this:


enter image description here

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The correct input is


Italian uses two kinds of accents, grave and acute. According to the most widespread usage, only the grave accent is used on a, i, o and u

\`a \`i \`o \`u
\`A \`I \`O \`U

Some publishers, however, prefer to use an acute accent on i and u.

With the vowel e, either the acute or the grave accent is used, to denote its closed or open pronunciation

\`e \'e
\`E \'E

Note that the “e with acute” is capitalized only when the whole word is capitalized, because the only Italian word that starts with “e with grave” is the monosyllabic verbal form “è” (present indicative, third person singular, of “essere”). Loanwords such as the French “équipe” are of course an exception.

Some people uses E' (with an apostrophe) as the capital form of è, but this is wrong usage, descending from the typewriter era, because typewriters didn't have uppercase accented letters.

Words which require the “e with acute” are all the oxytone words composed with the conjunction “ché”:

perché poiché affinché sicché giacché

and also the words composed with “re” (king) and “tre” (three):

viceré ventitré milleseicentonovantatré

and the accented monosyllabic words

né sé

Instead the words

caffè Mosè ahimè

and others want the grave accent.

Note, however, that all modern TeX distribution allow for directly using accented letters, so you can use È without problems, provided you load


or another encoding instead of utf8, reflecting the one your file is saved in. Better switching to UTF-8.

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  • Regarding "équipe", as long as you are writing Italian, even if it's a loan-word I guess it would be correct to write it accent-less, wouldn't it? – o0'. Apr 3 '15 at 21:34
  • 1
    @Lohoris It's a question of taste, both forms are acceptable. Just be consistent in a document. – egreg Apr 3 '15 at 21:35

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