What is a "hiato"?


I know that two weak vowels or a weak and a strong vowel form a dipthong. What do two strong vowels form? Is this a "hiato"? What do a strong vowel and a weak vowel with an accent mark on top of the weak vowel form? Is this called a "quiebradiptongo"? Is a "quiebradiptongo" a "hiato" also? Thank you for your attention.

updated FEB 1, 2011
posted by Palacio

6 Answers


Two strong vowels form two syllables (or the vowels for two syllables). I don't know if that's called a hiatus (hiato). When a weak vowel carries a tilde (accent) it becomes a strong vowel, so a strong vowel and an accented weak vowel become the vowels for two separate syllables. I can't answer the rest of your question with any assurance of being correct, but the "quiebradiptongo" looks like "broken dipthong" which makes sense in this context.

updated FEB 1, 2011
posted by CalvoViejo
Thank you for your answer. I am aware of what you wrote. When I learned this in high school, my teacher taught them as quiebradiptongos if the weak vowel had the tilde. However, since now the vowel do separate, does it turn into a hiato also or does a


  • ai
  • ei
  • oi
  • au
  • eu
  • ou
  • ia
  • ie
  • io
  • ua
  • ue
  • uo


  • ae
  • ao
  • ea
  • eo
  • oa
  • oe
  • ía
  • íe
  • ío
  • úa
  • úe
  • úo
updated DIC 20, 2010
posted by lazarus1907

I found in my text book that they are vowels that are next to each other that are in separate syllables.

[mi-o] [te-a-tro] [ka-er]

updated FEB 1, 2011
posted by Rizscoe

This whole discussion is over my head. Trying to learn Spanish has revealed to me that even though I speak and write English at a professional level, I don't know enough about grammar.

updated NOV 29, 2010
posted by Leatha

Diptongo - a weak vowel and a strong vowel together in the same sylllable
Hiato - in one word when two vowels are together (Two strong, one weak with a tilde and a string, or two weak both having a tilde) in separate syllables

updated NOV 29, 2010
posted by idontwanttojoin
Not quiteª It should be a stressed weak vowel and a strong one.

a hiato have to be composed of two strong vowels?

updated NOV 29, 2010
posted by Palacio
No. It can be any vowel, provided that one of them is stressed.