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A “Hiatus” is the name given to the combination of two strong vowels together. 
The strong Spanish vowels are “A”, “E” and “O” and when you have two of these together in a word you should not pronounce them together in the same syllable. You should instead pronounce them clearly and distinctly in separate syllables. 
An example of a Spanish hiatus is the “OE” combination in “po-e-ma” (poem) or the “OA” combination in “to-a-lla” (towel).
Let´s practice some more examples of Spanish hiatuses.

Listen and Repeat:

Bacalao: cod
Empleado: employee
Pelea: fight
Poema: poem
Tontear: to fool around
Traer: to bring
Estéreo: stereo
Europeo: European
Impermeable: waterproof
Caoba: mahogany
Saeta: dart, arrow
Octaedro: octahedron
Leona: lioness
Mareo: sickness
Toalla: towel
Real: real, royal
Maestra: teacher
Poeta: poet
Ahogarse: to drown
Caer: to fall

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