Spanish languageSpanish Dieresis - La Diéresis - Ü

When the letter G precedes a U plus a hard vowel, the U and the vowel are both pronounced. The U is pronounced like an English W:

guasón

guapo

In order to obtain this W sound in front of a soft vowel, the Ü comes into play. The two dots over the U are called a dieresis and indicate that two adjacent vowels both need to be pronounced as a diphthong:

vergüenza

lingüística

Note: In Spanish, the dieresis is only found on the U, and it can only precede an E or I. When a U is followed by a hard vowel, as in guapo, the W sound is automatic. Remember that a U without dieresis + E or I just makes the G hard (lesson on hard/soft vowels); the dieresis is what indicates that the U has its own sound.

  
Please note that this lesson is only a guideline for the Spanish that I know, which is Castilian Spanish. There are many regional variations in Spanish pronunciation.
 

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