Do you know how many vowels are in the Spanish alphabet? Are you able to pronounce the Spanish vowels? Do you know what strong and weak vowels are? Have you seen Spanish vowels with accents? Let's get some answers to these questions and more!
The short answer is five! The following are the five Spanish vowels:
Do you want to hear how to pronounce the vowels in Spanish? Let's listen to our friend Sol from GoSpanish.Com:
En español, tenemos cinco vocales: "a", "e", "i", "o", "u".
In Spanish, we have five vowels: "a," "e," "i," "o," "u."
Captions 2-7, Español para principiantes Las vocalesPlay Caption
Now that we know how many vowels there are in the Spanish alphabet and how to pronounce them, it is important to mention that these five vowels can be divided into two main groups. Let's take a closer look.
In Spanish, strong vowels are called vocales abiertas (literally "open vowels") because when you say them, your tongue stays in the lower part of your mouth, and the oral cavity must expand. These vowels are:
On the contrary, weak vowels are known in Spanish as vocales cerradas ("closed vowels") because when you pronounce them, your tongue stays closer to the roof of your mouth, and the oral cavity need not expand. These vowels are:
Differentiating between strong and weak vowels will help you to improve your understanding of how to divide words into syllables. In fact, when doing so, we invite you to keep in mind the following basic rules:
* Strong vowel + strong vowel together = Two syllables
Una boa, una anaconda, ¡ay no!
A boa, an anaconda, oh, no!Play Caption
The word boa has two syllables: bo-a.
* Weak vowel + unsetressed weak vowel together = One syllable
Detrás de mí podemos observar la ciudad antigua
Behind me, we can observe the old city
Caption 11, Ciudad de Panamá Denisse introduce la ciudadPlay Caption
Notice how the i and the u of the word ciudad belong to the same syllable: ciu-dad.
* Strong vowel + unstressed weak vowel = one syllable
toda esa deuda acumulada
all that accumulated debt
Caption 10, Luis Guitarra Todo es de todos - Part 1Play Caption
Notice how the e and the u of the word deuda are both in the same syllable: deu-da.
Keep in mind, however, that when a stressed weak vowel is next to another type of vowel, the two vowels must be separated into two different syllables:
Y en invierno suele hacer mucho frío.
An in winter it tends to be very cold.
Caption 15, Clara explica El tiempo - Part 1Play Caption
The word frío has a stressed weak vowel next to a strong vowel. This combination creates a "hiatus," or break between two consecutive vowels that are not in the same syllable. For this reason, the word frío has two syllables: frí-o. Words like frío that contain accented vowels are quite common in Spanish.
Finally, we would like to wrap up this lesson about the vowels in Spanish with a very simple question: Do you know any Spanish word that contains all of the five vowels? Although there are many, check out the following clip to see one of them in action:
La palabra más larga es murciélago. ¿Por qué? Pues porque tiene las cinco vocales dentro de la palabra.
The longest word is bat. Why? Well because it has the five vowels within the word.
Captions 43-45, Karla e Isabel PalabrasPlay Caption
And that's all for this lesson. We hope you've enjoyed learning about the Spanish vowels, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!
How well do you know the Spanish alphabet? Do you know how many letters are in the Spanish alphabet? What about the number of consonants and vowels that are part of it? This lesson answers these questions and provides a series of audio clips that will help you to learn the letters and improve the pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet. Let's take a look.
Believe it or not, there are actually two words in Spanish that we use to talk about the alphabet. While the most literal translation would be the word alfabeto, you can also use the word abecedario when referring to the Spanish alphabet. In fact, and according to the Real Academia Española (RAE), these two words are synonyms.
There are 27 letters in the Spanish alphabet. But do you know how many of those letters are consonants and how many vowels are in the Spanish alphabet? The answer is very simple. In the Spanish alphabet there are 22 consonants and 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u). Let’s go over all the Spanish alphabet letters with the following 27 words:
A as in agua (water)
¿También tienes agua?
Do you have water too?Play Caption
B as in burro (donkey)
El burro es un animal ideal para este tipo de actividades.
The donkey is an ideal animal for this kind of activity.
Caption 71, Rosa - Yoga con burrosPlay Caption
C as in coche (car)
Hoy, voy en coche porque hace mucho frío.
Today, I'm going by car because it's very cold.
Caption 16, Ariana - Cena especialPlay Caption
D as in difícil (difficult)
Es muy difícil. -Muy complicado.
It's very difficult. -Very complicated.
Caption 31, Blanca y Mariona - Planificación de cenaPlay Caption
E as in ellos (they)
Ellos se llevan muy bien.
They get along very well.
Caption 41, El Aula Azul - Mis PrimosPlay Caption
F as in fácil (easy)
Basta, es muy fácil.
Enough, it's very easy.Play Caption
G as in gente (people)
Barcelona se llena de gente.
Barcelona fills up with people.
Caption 17, Blanca - Sobre la ciudad de BarcelonaPlay Caption
H as in hotel (hotel)
El hotel también cuenta con un bar.
The hotel also has a bar.
Caption 73, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotelPlay Caption
I as in iglesia (church)
Esta iglesia fue construida en mil seiscientos ochenta y uno.
This church was built in sixteen eighty one.
Caption 14, Viajando con Carlos - Popayán - ColombiaPlay Caption
J as in jamón (ham)
Fíjate: jamón, Javier.
Check it out: ham, Javier.
Caption 27, Fundamentos del Español - 10 - La PronunciaciónPlay Caption
K as in kilo (kilo)
Reciclando un kilo de vidrio...
[By] recycling a kilo of glass...
Caption 70, 3R - Campaña de reciclaje - Part 1Play Caption
L as in lago (lake)
Hay un lago.
There is a lake.
Caption 11, Natalia de Ecuador - Los adverbios de ordenPlay Caption
M as in mercado (market)
...y están presentes en el mercado internacional.
...and are present in the international market.
Caption 73, Europa Abierta - Champagne en AndalucíaPlay Caption
N as in nunca (never)
Nadie, nada, nunca.
Nobody, nothing, never.
Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 5 - La NegaciónPlay Caption
Ñ as in the middle of the word niño (boy)
La frase, el niño quiere el juguete.
The sentence, "the boy wants the toy."
Caption 17, Raquel - Diminutivos y aumentativosPlay Caption
O as in objeto (object)
...y "tendedero" es un objeto para la ropa
...and "tendedero" is an object for clothes
Caption 27, Karla e Isabel - PalabrasPlay Caption
P as in parque (park)
Aquí en Parque Fundidora.
Here in Fundidora Park.Play Caption
Q as in queso (cheese)
Un vaso de leche y queso.
A glass of milk and cheese.
Caption 16, Recetas de Clara - Los aborrajadosPlay Caption
R as in rápidamente (quickly)
Vamos a ver rápidamente una frase.
We are going to look quickly at a phrase.Play Caption
S as in sal (salt)
Muchos mercaderes venían a recoger la sal.
Many merchants came to get the salt.
Caption 14, Rosa - Fuente de PiedraPlay Caption
T as in trabajo (job)
¿Qué trabajo es?
What job is it?
Caption 23, Sofy y Caro - Entrevistar para un trabajoPlay Caption
U as in universidad (university)
¿La biblioteca de la universidad?
The university library?Play Caption
V as in viento (wind)
...y un viento muy fuerte nos arrastró a mar abierto.
...and a very strong wind dragged us out to the open sea.Play Caption
W as in wifi (wifi)
Tenemos también wifi y hay ordenadores disponibles.
We also have wifi and there are computers available.Play Caption
X as in xilófono (xylophone)
Entonces, había una persona contando un cuento y él tocando un xilófono.
So, there was a person telling a story and he [was] playing a xylophone.
Caption 28, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 4Play Caption
Y as in yuca (yucca)
Aquí tenemos la yuca.
Here we have the yucca.
Caption 7, Recetas de cocina - CarimañolasPlay Caption
Z as in zona (area)
Es la primera vez que vengo a esta zona de la ciudad.
It's the first time I've come to this area of the city.
Caption 8, Karla e Isabel - Alquilar una habitaciónPlay Caption
If you want to improve your pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet, please take a look at the following audio clips where Marta, one of our Spanish teachers, will teach you how to properly pronounce the Spanis alphabet letters:
A, be, ce, de, e,
A, b, c, d, e,
Caption 19, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El AlfabetoPlay Caption
efe, ge, hache, i, jota,
f, g, h, i, j,
Caption 20, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El AlfabetoPlay Caption
ka, ele, eme, ene, eñe,
k, l, m, n, ñ,
Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El AlfabetoPlay Caption
o, pe, cu, erre, ese,
o, p, q, r, s,
Caption 22, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El AlfabetoPlay Caption
te, u, uve, uve doble,
t, u, v, w,
Caption 23, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El AlfabetoPlay Caption
equis, i griega
x, y [literally: "Greek i"]
Caption 24, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El AlfabetoPlay Caption
Caption 25, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El AlfabetoPlay Caption
Keep in mind that you can also refer to the letter W as doble ve (double v) or doble u (double u). Similarly, you can also call the letter Y ye instead of i griega (Greek i).
That's it for now. If you feel like practicing a little bit more, try to write one word with each one of the 27 Spanish alphabet letters. And of course, don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.