Oh, dear! Siglas! How many mistakes I’ve seen related to Spanish siglas! Also, I’m sure you’ve seen them too. However, for some reason I can’t find out, this is not a topic we pay attention to, right? First, I am going to start with the definition of “siglas” and, later, I will give you some fundamental bullet points about them. Let’s go!

What are SIGLAS?

It’s a word which has been created taking the initial letters of a complex denomination (RAE, online). Let’s see an example to make it clear.

An official organism in Spain and very well known by my Spanish friends is Dirección General de Tráfico (General Governance of Traffic and if you don’t behave properly while driving, let’s say that you are driving 5 kilometres per hour faster than the limit in a very clear and wide road with lovely visibility, you can receive a considerable fine. But, dear friends, public transport in Spain works perfectly. Choose it!). As I was saying, take the first letter of these 3 words (we omit the preposition de in the sigla):

Dirección (D is the first letter here)

General de (G is the first letter here)

Tráfico (T is the first letter here)

Then, what’s the sigla? DGT

Got it?

Important things to consider

  • The most important one: don’t write full stops or blank spaces between the letters which are part of the sigla. Unless you are writing this sigla in a text which is COMPLETELY written in capital letters. So:

-FIFA (Federación Internacional de Fútbol Asociado)

-But F.I.F.A. is wrong.

  • I know that I’m a fan of accents. They are very important (obviously when they are needed. Don’t write an accent now every time you write a word!). However, siglas haven’t got any accents (this is a relief, isn’t it?).

IVA (Impuesto al Valor Agregado)

Just to let you know, IVA is what the UK calls VAT (value  added tax).

  • The letters “ch” and “ll” are called dígrafos. Why? Because they are only two sounds in Spanish, but each sound corresponds with two letters instead of one. Then, when you create a sigla and the first letter of one word is “ch” or “ll”, you must write “c” or “l” in capital letter and the other letter of the dígrafo must be in lower case letter.  Example: 

I had no idea about siglas with these dígrafos, then Real Academia Espanola online saved me:

PCCh (Partido Comunista de China)

I think other sigla could have been more lovely than that, but… you know.

  • Sometimes we write a hyphen at the end of the line if you can’t finish to write the word there and you need to use the next line. Guion is how we call this hyphen. Imagine that you want to write “Quiero ir al supermercado” (I want to go to the supermarket) and you don’t have enough space to write in the line supermercado. Then, you’ll do that:

Quiero ir al super-


However, you can’t do that when you are written a sigla. You mustn’t use hyphens (guiones) with siglas.

And the lesson of the day has finished! I hope it’s useful and you’ve enjoyed it! Don’t forget to subscribe (if you can!) and to share it! Also, if you’re subscribed, a like is really appreciated. Thanks so much!

See you soon!

Letras en Espanol – B. Riesco©


Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas (en línea): Lema sigla. COnsultado a partir de: https://www.rae.es/dpd/sigla

Instituto Vasco de la Administración Pública (en línea): Siglas y acrónimos: reglas de escritura (y 2). Consultado a partir de: https://www.ivap.euskadi.eus/entrada-blog/2021/siglas-y-acronimos-reglas-de-escritura-y-2/z16-b2aha/es/

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