Hiato vs. Ditongo vs. Tritongo

Tags
pronunciation
Property

What is it?

They are groups of vowels and semivowels with no intermediate consonants. It is important to recognize them in order to correctly divide words into syllables and pronounce them correctly.

When to use

When you’re pronouncing words with two or more vowels.

Ditongo (diphthong)

ditongo happens when two vowels are in the same syllable.

mãe

mother

pai

father

áudio

audio

peixe

fish

💡

All vowels are pronounced in Portuguese. Even though audio (en) and áudio (pt) seem like the same word, they have different pronunciations.

Hiato

hiato happens when two vowels are in the same word but different syllables.

poesia

poetry

juiz

judge

raiz

source, root

saída

exit

💡

You can think of it as in the word coin.

Tritongo

tritongo happens when three vowels are together in a word. It’s not as common as ditongos and hiatos.

Uruguai

Uruguay

averiguar

to check

iguais

equal, same

uruguaio

Uruguayan

💡

Note how countries (e.g. Uruguai) are capitalize but nationalities aren’t (e.g. uruguaio) in Portuguese.

How is it different from English? WIP

In Portuguese, the sounds of each vowel is more clear and separate than in English, especially when ditongo and hiato happens.

áudio

audio

juiz

coin

Uruguai

Uruguay

Let’s practice with repetition:

Repeat the words below after me:

  • mãe mother (ditongo)
  • poesia poetry (hiato)
  • Uruguai Uruguay (tritongo)
  • pai father (ditongo)
  • juiz judge (hiato)
  • averiguar to check (tritongo)
  • áudio audio (ditongo)
  • raiz root (hiato)
  • iguais equal (tritongo)
  • peixe fish (ditongo)
  • saída exit (hiato)
  • uruguaio Uruguayan (tritongo)