Difference between Hiatus and Diphthong

A hiatus is a sequence composed of two consecutive vowels that generate two syllables.

A diphthong is a sequence composed of two consecutive vowels that generate one syllable.

Difference between Hiatus and Diphthong

The difference between hiatus and diphthong is that the hiatus generates two syllables from certain vowel sequences, while the diphthong generates one syllable.

The hiatus and the diphthong have several norms, but in general terms it can be said that:

If the sequence has two different open vowels or an open vowel and closed vowel sequence and the latter are stressed, it is a hiatus.

If the sequence has two different closed vowels or one open vowel and one closed vowel and the latter is not stressed, it is a diphthong.

What is Hiatus?

It is a sequence that is formed when there are two consecutive vowels that form two syllables in the same word.

For a word to form a hiatus, it must meet one of these three vowel combinations:

  • Two different open vowels
  • Two equal vowels
  • An open vowel and a closed and stressed vowel (with an accent)
  • A closed and stressed vowel (with an accent) and an open vowel

Examples of Hiatus

Based on the rules above, these would be some examples of hiatus:

  • Po-e-ma: two different open vowels.
  • Le-er: two equal vowels (e, e).
  • Ra-iz: an open vowel (a) and a closed and stressed vowel.
  • Fri – o: a closed and stressed vowel and an open vowel
  • Co-a-gu-lo: two different open vowels
  • A-or-ta: two different open vowels
  • Po-se-er: two equal vowels
  • Abs-tra-i-do: one open vowel and one closed and tonic
  • Bio-lo-gi-a: a closed and stressed vowel and an open vowel

What is Diphthong?

It is a sequence that is formed when in the same word there are two consecutive vowels that form a syllable.

In a word, there is a diphthong if any of these vowel combinations are fulfilled:

  • Two different closed vowels
  • An open vowel and a closed vowel
  • A closed and unstressed vowel and an open vowel (it is the same previous rule, but with the order of the vowels reversed)

Examples of Diphthong

These are some examples of words that form diphthongs according to the rules seen above:

  • Rui-do: two closed vowels
  • Eu-ro-pa: an open vowel and a closed vowel
  • In-te-lec-tual: a closed vowel and an open vowel
  • Tri-fo: two closed vowels
  • Pai-sa-je: open vowel and closed vowel
  • Fo-bia: a closed vowel and an open vowel