I'm starting to self study Spanish and I'm trying to use Duolingo. On the site for a sentence like "Tu tren está aquí", the audio pronounces as "estaqui", only saying the "a" sound once. Is this legitimate or is the audio just playing too fast for my ears to catch the second "a"?

If it is, could someone quickly give a rundown of where I can expect sounds to be dropped in spoken Spanish so I can try adjust to these things early?

  • I think this is touched on in the answer to this question spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/2158/… The bottom line is that people do elide the adjacent vowels.
    – mdewey
    Jan 5, 2022 at 13:47
  • You really just need to take it one step at a time. In any case, if you speak slowly, both a's are said. If you speak fast, they are not. But this is not at all like French. Also, you might consider a course with better exercises than Duolingo.,
    – Lambie
    Jan 5, 2022 at 15:34
  • @Lambie Do you have any suggestions, I don't know any other sites that are free Jan 6, 2022 at 11:43
  • Well, completely free, I don't know. The Instituto Cervantes has a lot of free stuff. And you might want to think of paying for one of their courses. ave.cervantes.es
    – Lambie
    Jan 6, 2022 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


It is wrong to say "estaqui" in that sentence. Probably the audio is playing to fast.

  • 1
    I agree that it is wrong to merge the two vowels into a single vowel. It should also be noted that speakers of languages like English or German may feel that there is only one vowel in a casually pronounced 'está aquí' because in those languages an initial vowel is preceded by a glottal stop, a puff of air that we don't have in Spanish. Compare the pronunciations of 'meander' in English or 'Beamte' in German with Spanish 'meandro'. Because of there being no glottal stop, speakers of English or German may struggle to notice the double vowel in the Spanish pronunciation of 'Aarón' or 'Canaán'. Jan 11, 2022 at 8:47

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