Since accent marks indicate which syllable is stressed, the first thing you need to know is what constitutes a syllable in Spanish. In this lesson we practice counting the number of syllables in Spanish words. Here are the basic rules:
- There are five vowels in Spanish, a,
are considered strong vowels.
The other two vowels,
are considered weak vowels.
- Note: As a memory aid, remember that You and I are weak.
- Each strong vowel in a word forms its own syllable. So a combination of two strong vowels forms two syllables.
- A combination of two vowels in which at least one is weak forms one syllable. This is called a diphthong.
- Animal has three syllables.
- Baile has two syllables, since the first syllable is a combination of a strong vowel and a weak vowel.
- Fui has only one syllable, since the two vowels are both weak.
- Biblioteca has four syllables, since the second cluster of vowels consists of a weak one and a strong one.
- Caos has two syllables, since the two vowels are both strong.