Pronunciation of "U" in Spanish

Pronunciation of "U" in Spanish


Hello everyone.

I know that the "u" is pronounced in many words as a diphthong, as in "Agua" (A-gwa).

However, I also wonder if the "u" in Spanish is sometimes silent. Specifically, after the letter "q" and in the combinations of "gue" and "gui."

So, the "u" would be silent in the following words, yes?

Quitar (Kee-tar)

Quieto (Kee-eh-to)

Sigue (See-gay)

Thank you for your help.

updated JUL 4, 2010
posted by crazy_for_sugar

2 Answers


Hi Crazy. Welcome to the forum.

That's exactly right. The "u" is silent after "q" and "gue" and "gui."

Hope to see you around wink

updated JUL 4, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
¡Muy simpática! - Goyo, JUL 4, 2010
Thank you, Marianne for your quick answer. - crazy_for_sugar, JUL 4, 2010

To add to what Marianne has said, if such a "u" is supposed to be pronounced, it will have two dots over it like this ü. The dots are a diacritical mark called a dieresis.

The dieresis is placed over the u when it pronounced after a g in the combinations güe and güi.

Pengüin is an example, and vergüenza.

In Spanish the word is "diéresis" Here is a list of such words.

updated JUL 4, 2010
posted by Janice
¡Que informativa! - Goyo, JUL 4, 2010
Thank you very much, Janice. - crazy_for_sugar, JUL 4, 2010
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