When a Spanish word has two vowels side by side, various
pronunciation issues come into play: syllable division, diphthongs, and hiatus.
In terms of syllable division, Spanish vowels are divided into two
categories: strong vowels (A, E, O) and
weak vowels (I, U). To pronounce Spanish correctly, you need to
understand strong and weak vowels and how they affect pronunciation.
When the pronunciation of a word does not follow these rules, an
acute accent is placed on the stressed vowel.
Hiatus - Two vowels pronounced as two
Diphthong - Two vowels pronounced as
a single syllable. When this happens, the unstressed weak vowel has a
special sound: the letter I sounds like Y (as in yet) and U sounds like W
(as in will).
The letter U
- When U's purpose in a word is to make a consonant hard rather than soft ( see
lesson ) as in portugués and
guisantes , it does not count as a vowel and thus the above rules do not
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