Sílabas y Diptongos



  1. Words can be divided into syllables.  A syllable has always one vowel and one or several consonants. Many times vowels and consonantes alternate:
    • ca-sa, li-te-ra-tu-ra

    • (As you can see, a consonant between two vowels joins the next vowel and starts the next syllable. The consequence is that the syllables in the above examples end in vowels. We call these syllables open syllables. They are very frequent and typical in Spanish.)

More specific rules (syllables with more than one consonant)

  1. Two consonants together must be separated:
    • cur-so, cuer-po, pac-to
  2. bl, cl, dl, fl, gl, pl,tl and br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr and tr are not separated:
    • ha-blan, con-clu-sión, An-drés, pa-dre, ca-bra, de-sa-gra-da-ble, in-glés
  3. When there are three consonants together, the first two usually go with the preceding vowel, and the third goes with the vowel that follows:
    • ins-ta-la-ción, ins-pec-ción

    • (An exception is when the third consonant is l or r. In this case the last two consonants go with the vowel that follows.)
  4. When there are four consonants together, there are divided in the middle:
    • ins-crip-ción
  5. ch, ll and rr are considered one letter and are not sepatated.
  6. In words formed with prefixes, the prefix stands allone as one syllable.
    • des-a-gra-da-ble, in-ú-til


A diphthong is the combination of a "weak" vowel (i and u) and a "strong" vowel (a, e and o), or the combination of two "weak" vowels. A diphthong counts as one syllable and is never sepatated:
ai, ay aire, hay pronounce like  eye
ei, ey reino, ley pronounce like may
oi, oy oigo, hoy pronounce like toy
iu triunfo pronounce like you
ui, uy cuidar, muy pronounce like Louie
ue hueso, muere pronounce like west
ojo2.gif - 639 Bytes Two strong vowels never form a diphthong: ma-es-tro, le-o