Diphthongs -diptongos en español- (A2)

DiphthongsDiphthongs (diptongos en español) are a combination of one strong (a, e, o) and one weak vowel (i, u), or of two weak vowels. Diphthongs are counted as one syllable. It may not be separated unless the weak vowel bears a written accent called “tilde”:

   ai, ay aire, hay pronounce like “eye”
    ei, ey reino, ley pronounce like “may”
   oi, oy oigo, hoy pronounce like “toy”
   iu triunfo, ciudad pronounce like “you”
   ui, uy cuidar, muy pronounce like “Louie”
   ue hueso, muerte pronounce like “west”
   au jaula, Paula pronounce like “now”
   eu feudal, reuma pronounce like “eh + oo”
   ia estudiamos pronounce like “yacht”
   ie miel, quiero pronounce like “ye”
   ua cuatro, mensual pronounce like “watt”
   uo cuota, antiguo pronounce like “quota”

The combination of a stressed strong vowel between two weak vowels that forms a single syllable is a triphthong. In Spanish, only four exist.

   iai estudiáis pronounce like “yipe”
   iei estudiéis pronounce like “yea”
   uai (uay) continuáis, Paraguay pronounce like “wine”
   uei (uey) continuéis, buey pronounce like “wade”

 

If the weak vowel is stressed, there is a separation called hiato, these are not diphthongs: ca-í-da, dí-a, rí-en, Ma-rí-a, tí-os, re-í-mos, re-ú-ne…

It also an hiato when the combination of two strong vowels is separated: ca-e-mos,re-a-li-dad, le-en, em-ple-o, a-e-ro-pla-no..

Diphthongs and hiatosLearning about diphthongs and hiatos will help you to pronounce better.

Remember you can contact your tutor with any question you have about diphthongs. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet? Just click on the link to practice the diphthongs with our quizzes.

 

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