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    

Spanish Word Division

Spanish syllables are divided as follows:

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 between 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.

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