I am learning about nationality adjectives in Spanish. I came across the Puerto Ricans and I noticed the corresponding word in Spanish is "Puertorriqueño/a". I was not expecting to see a double "r". I then look at how "Puerto Rico" is written in Spanish: "Puerto Rico".

So why is there an extra "r" for Puerto Ricans? Does it have a linguistical reason? Are there other examples of this nature, whether for nationalities or other adjectives where the adjective gets a double letter when its base form does not have a double letter?

1 Answer 1


"R" rolls at the beginning of words, as in "rico" or "rosa".

When the adjective of "Puerto Rico" is formed, the result is a compound word and the "r" remains in mid position. To preserve its rolling sound, the "r" needs to be doubled. If it is not, it will sound like a weak "r", as in "para" or "pera".


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