Spanish languageSpanish Syllabification ~ Word Division

Spanish words are divided into syllables according to fairly simple rules.

Number of syllables

Spanish words have the same number of syllables as they have diphthongs + vowels, with the exception of the silent U. Here are some examples:

1 syllable  
    1 vowel él - tres - sur
  1 diphthong diez - soy - pie
2 syllables  
  2 vowels frío - plato - estar
1 vowel + 1 diphthong baile - fuerte - estoy
3 syllables
  3 vowels febrero - exacto - derecha
  2 vowels + 1 diphthong cuidado - abierto - ingenuo
  1 vowel + 2 diphthongs auxiliar - dieciseis


4 syllables
  4 vowels empleado - estéreo - carnicero
  3 vowels + 1 diphthong estudioso - europeo - televisión
  2 vowels + 2 diphthongs australiano

Word Division

The syllables are divided according to the following rules:

1. Between two consecutive strong vowels: fe-o

2. Between two consecutive vowels when one is accented: dí-a

3. Between two consecutive consonants: es-tar

a) except when the second one is L or R, in which case the syllable breaks before them: a-trás

4. When there are three consecutive consonants, the syllable usually breaks betwen the first and second: in-glés

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.

Spanish Pronunciation     Spanish for Beginners


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