When working with diptongos, we were told that two strong vowels or a strong with an accented weak vowel were the only ways we separated the word into syllables.

For example, the word "cuál" is not separated because the weak "u" and the accented "a" prevent a separation whereas the word "quién" can apparently be separated as "qui|én".

Why is this even though 'i' is a weak vowel and 'é' is a strong?

  • Hello, I'm pretty sure that the word "quién" cannot be separated. Can you give any reason to say otherwise??
    – PiQ
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 1:41
  • Yes it seems so. I asked my friend and he said that it can't. But I still will like to see other peoples' responses.
    – Ian L
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 1:42
  • In fact, the oposite is true: the group is always a diphthong.
    – Gorpik
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


Quién (or quien) is a monosyllabic word (thus not separable). The accent responds to a case of tilde diacrítica, i.e. distinguishing between two words that are written the same (quien and quién), but one of them is stressed (quién) while the other one is not (quien). But the tilde does not have anything to do with syllable division whatsoever.

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