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Is the vowel ‘u’ of the digraph ‘qu’ pronounced in Spanish?

The pronunciation of the digraph qu in Spanish is not free from confusion among people who start learning the Spanish language. The vowel u located behind the q is not pronounced in Spanish, something that does happens in other languages such as English or Italian. This was previously pronounced in Latin in words such as qui, quae or quod, but the speakers stopped pronouncing it as the language evolved (although it was still being written). However, Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas presents some exceptions in this regard. Namely, the vowel u is not silent in Spanish in Latin locutions as status quo and in those voices from English as quark or quasar. In this post, you will find 7 words written with the digraph qu with their respective examples and an MP3 that will help you pronounce them./span>


Listen MP3:


QUIEBRA  (bankruptcy,  falência)

La empresa se declara en quiebra. (The company was declared bankruptcy.)

QUIÉN  (who,  quem)

¿Quién eres?   (Who are you?)

QUIENQUIERA  (whoever, quem quer)

¡Quienquiera que seas, sal de ahí! (Whoever you are, get out of there!)

QUIERE (he/she wants, you want (formal), quer)

¿Qué quiere beber?  (What do you want to drink?)

QUIERO (I want, quero)

Te quiero. (I want you. / I love you)

QUIETO (still, quieto)

Estoy quieto. (I’m still.)

QUIETUD  (quiet, stillnessquietude)

Encontró quietud en la naturaleza.  (He found stillness in nature.)


Practica Español

(Source consulted: Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas)

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