Spanish Syllable division


Syllable division is the process of breaking a word into syllables (or syllabication). A syllable is a sequence of sounds that are pronounced together as a single unit. 

This tool allows users to see the correct syllabic division of words. For example, for the word cuaderno, the tool displays cua-der-no.

What is the purpose of syllable division?

Syllables may be formed from a single vowel or from a combination of a vowel and other letters, either consonants or vowels. Specific rules exist as to how a word should be divided into syllables. 

Knowing these rules is important for accurate writing since they are related to the division of words at the end of a line and to various orthographic concerns, such as the use of accents.

Word accentuation

Depending on the position of the stressed syllable in a word (i.e. the syllable that receives more emphasis), words may be agudas (oxytone), stressed on the last syllable), graves (paroxytone), stressed on the penultimate syllable, esdrújulas (proparoxytone), stressed on the third-to-last syllable, or sobreesdrújulas (proparoxytone), stressed on the fourth from last syllable. For example: can-ción (aguda), pró-cer (grave), brú-ju-la (esdrújula), re-pí-ta-me-lo (sobreesdrújula).

Diphthong and hiatus

When two vowels appear consecutively in a word, they may either belong to the same syllable or two separate ones, depending on whether they form a diphthong or a hiatus.

  • Diphthong. The combination of two vowels pronounced in the same syllable. For example: ciu-dad, suer-te, a-gua.
  • Hiatus. The combination of two vowels pronounced in separate syllables. For example: ca-í-da, le-er, te-a-tro.  

Words by syllable count

Based on the number of syllables, words may be:

  • Monosyllabic. They are made up of only one syllable. For example: miel, sol, yo.
  • Bisyllabic. They are made up of two syllables. For example: ca-sa, ver-bo, mien-tras.
  • Trisyllabic. They are made up of three syllables. For example: brú-ju-la, te-cla-do, re-su-mir.
  • Tetrasyllabic. They are made up of four syllables. For example: li-cen-cia-da, te-lé-fo-no, re-sul-ta-do.
  • Pentasyllabic. They are made up of five syllables. For example: re-pre-sen-ta-ción, a-e-ro-pla-no, ver-du-le-rí-a.
  • Hexasyllabic. They are made up of six syllables. For example: re-co-no-ci-mien-to, ad-mi-nis-tra-ti-vo.
  • Heptasyllabic. They are made up of seven syllables. For example: es-pe-cí-fi-ca-men-te, an-ti-cons-ti-ti-tu-cio-nal, in-com-pa-ti-bi-li-dad.
  • Polysyllabic. They are made up of more than one syllable. For example: cam-po, ciu-da-da-da-ní-a.