Wednesday, October 31, 2012


As we already know, there are 25 consonants in el alfabeto español (including the ones removed CH,LL,RR). Now it’s time to learn their sounds and names. Are you ready?

PLEASE: keep in mind that the english sounds are closer to spanish  pronunciation, for better pronunciation listen carefully to your teacher.

1. Spanish letter B b                                                    
Name: be, similar to beh                                    

  1. Before the each vowel

  • ba in bah                     
  • be in best
  • bi in the word bee
  • bo in bossy
  • bu in boots

2. Spanish letter C c  
Name: ce, similar to ceh
  1. Before the vowels a, o, and u

  • ca in Catherine
  • co in corn
  • cu in racoon

  1. Before the vowels i and e

  • ce in cents
  • ci in cigarette

3. Spanish letter CH ch
Name: che, similar to cheh
  1. Before the each vowel

  • cha in chá, chá, chá
  • che in Chest
  • chi in cheap
  • cho in short
  • chu in choose
4. Spanish letter D d
Name: de, similar to deh
  1. Before the each vowel

  • da in that
  • de in desperado
  • di in Deep
  • do in document
  • du in dude

5. Spanish letter F f
Name: efe, similar to eh-feh
  1. The Spanish sound of F is like the English sound of F or PH
  2. Before the each vowel

  • fa in family

  • fe in festival
  • fi in Phillip
  • fo in photograph
  • fu in kung-fu  

6. Spanish letter G g
Name: ge, similar to heh
  1. Before the vowels a, o, and u

  • ga in gasoline
  • go in gorilla
  • gu in goose

  1. Before the vowels e and i

  • ge in hen
  • gi in the word he

  1. But there is also more sounds with letter G

  • gue is like in guest; the vowels are not pronounced indistinctly
  • gui is like in guitar; the vowels are not pronounced indistinctly
  • güi like in we; the vowels are pronounced indistinctly
  • güe like in went; the vowels are pronounced indistinctly

7. Spanish letter H h
Name: hache, similar to ah-cheh

  1. Before the vowels the H is silent

  • ha is like in ah
  • he is like in eh
  • hi is like in inn
  • ho is like in oh
  • hu is like in ooh

8. Spanish letter J j
Name: jota, similar to ho-tah

  1. Before each vowel

  • ja in hat
  • je in hen
  • ji in him
  • jo in horse
  • ju sounds like the word who

9. Spanish letter K k
Name: ka, similar to kah
  1. Before each vowel

  • ka in castle
  • ke in kerosene
  • ki in kiss
  • ko in koala
  • ku in racoon

10. Spanish letter L l
Name: ele, similar to eh-leh
  1. Before each vowel

  • la in last
  • le in let
  • li in lee
  • lo in lost
  • lu in loon

11. Spanish letter LL ll
Name: doble ele, similar to doh-bleh  eh-leh
  1. Before each vowel

  • lla in yard
  • lle in gender
  • lli in jingle
  • llo in Jordan
  • llu in July

12. Spanish letter M m
Name: eme, similar to eh-meh
Before each vowel
ma in Martha
me in met
mi in me
mo in most
mu in moon

13. Spanish letter N n
Name: ene, similar to eh-neh
  1. Before each vowel

  • na in nana
  • ne in net
  • ni like the word knee
  • no in north
  • nu in noon

14. Spanish letter Ñ ñ
Name: eñe, similar to en-yeh
Before each vowel
ña in lasagna
ñe in eh nyeh
ñi in onion
ño in canyon
ñu in the word niooh

15. Spanish letter P p
Name: pe, similar to peh
  1. Before each vowel

  • pa in pass
  • pe in pen
  • pi in the word pee
  • po in pot
  • pu in the word poo

16. Spanish letter Q q
Name: cu, similar to cooh
Before the vowels ue and ui, the sound of Q is like
que in kerosene, the vowels are not pronounced indistinctly
qui in tequila, the vowels are not pronounced indistinctly

17. Spanish letter R r
Name: ere, like in the underlined syllable dieresis
  1. When a word begins and ends with R the sound is strong like

  • ra in rat
  • re in red
  • ri in reed
  • ro in Rome
  • ru in root

  1. When the letter R is placed in the middle of a word, the sound is softer like

  • ra in caramel
  • re in dieresis
  • ri in marine
  • ro in Caroline
  • ru in maroo

18. Spanish letter RR rr
Name: Doble erre, like combining the underlined syllables of the words
doll + blend= doble  and   eh + red= erre

  • The sound of this  letter does not have a similar sound in english, just try to pronounce it strongly, rolling the sound of rr like in burrito.
  • Tip on pronunciation: hold the tip of your tongue touching the front roof of your mouth, and then blow air between them.

20. Spanish letter T t
Name: te, similar to teh
  1. Before each vowel

  • ta in tartar
  • te in telephone
  • ti in teen
  • to in toll
  • tu in tuna

21. Spanish letter V v
Name: u ve, similar to ooh-veh
Other name: ve chica, similar to veh-chi-kah
  1. Before each vowel

  • va in in the word vah
  • ve in veh
  • vi in vintage
  • vo in volvo
  • vu in  the word boo

22. Spanish letter W w
Name:Doble U, similar to doh-bleh ooh
Other name: doble ve, similar to doh-bleh veh
  1. NOTE: There are not spanish words using this letter, the purpose to have it in the alphabet is to be able to pronounce foreign words like whiskey, web, walkman, etcetera.  

23. Spanish letter X x
Name: equis, similar to eh-kiss
  1. The letter X has theses different sounds:

  • When a word begin with X, the sound is similar to the english letter “S”, like in xilófono, xerografía, xenofobia, and Xochimilco.
  • When using x between vowels or it’s placed before a consonant, the sound is similar to english “GS”, like in the words exacto, léxico,  máximo, extracción, and excavación. Samples:
    • Between vowels: exacto sounds similar to egg + suck + toh
    • Between consonants: extracción sounds similar to eggs + track + see + on
  • In some words the sound of x is like the english “sh” in xola and xoloitzcuintle. And,  like english “h” like in México, Oaxaca, and Texas.

24. Spanish letter Y y
Name: I griega, similar to eh-gree-eh-gah
  1. Before each vowel

  • ya in Jazz
  • ye is yes
  • yi in jingle
  • yo in Jordan
  • yu in June

  1. And, when it’s placed at the end of a word, the sound is like the spanish vowel i like in:

  • hay, muy, buey,  and maguey. Sample: the word muy is like combining the underlined syllables moon + eel

25. Spanish letter Z z
Name: zeta, similar to ceh-tah
Before the vowels, the sound of Z is similar to the letter “S”
za in San Diego
ze in send
zi in zinfandel
zo in the word so
zu in the word zoo

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