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Spanish pronunciation

Spanish Pronunciation

One of the best things about learning Spanish is that once you know how to pronounce the sounds of the letters, you will be able to say almost any word that you read. This is not the case for people learning English. Imagine how dificult it is to learn how to pronounce words such as ought, cough, bough, rough, through, though, etc.

The information on this page has been on our website for many years. The advantage of this page is that you can hear all the example sounds by clicking on the buttons next to the examples below.

The quality of the sound in the example is fairly good but the "rr" should be a little bit more rolled.

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EXPLANATION:
The first line is an explanation of a sound in Spanish -
The second line are examples of that sound.

Use this lesson to rapidly increase your pronunciation of Spanish  so that you can pronounce any sound in Spanish

Alternative Spanish pronunciation page
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The Contents

The Spanish "a" is a short sharp sound like "hat" in English
gato. pato. apio. loca
The Spanish "e" is like the "e" in "wet" in English
pelo. elegir. éxito. sed
The Spanish "i" is like the "ee" in "seen" but a bit shorter
vino. sin. miércoles. idiota
The Spanish "o" can have two sounds. When it is at the end of a word it is like the "o" in note e.g. "pato" When it is before a consonant it is shorter, like "pot" or "cot" e.g. "boda" This difference is very subtle
boca. pato. apio. loca
The Spanish "u" is like the "oo" in "food" Note: It is silent after "q" and in "gue" and "gui" The exceptions are marked with a diaeresis eg: antigüedad. The "ü" is not very common.
fruta. luna. puro. mudo
The Spanish "ai" is like the "i" in "side"
baile. aislar. paisaje. vaina. haya
The Spanish "au" is like the "ou" in "sound"
sauna. causa. pausa. audio. audiencia
The Spanish "ei" and "ey" sound like the "ay" in say
reina. rey. peine. seis
The Spanish "eu" has no English equivalent and is difficult to define. It is just the sounds of "e" and "u" together. It is not very common
europa. deuda. neutral. reumatismo
The Spanish "oi" and "oy" are like the "oy" in boy
oiga. soy. doy. boicot. sois. coyote
The Spanish "u + vowel" sounds like the "w" in "win" Note that when "u" is followed by a vowel it normally has the "w" sound
bueno. fuente. huevo. agua. fui. fuimos. cuota
The Spanish "y" and "ie" have the "y" sound in "yes" . Note that the word "y" meaning "and" sounds like the Spanish "i"
bien. hielo. yerno. yeso. tierno. miedo
The Spanish "b" is almost exactly the same as an English "b" Note: Both "b" and "v" have the "b" sound in Spanish In fact Spanish people can have difficulty with the spelling and you can somtimes see signs in restaurants, etc. which are misspelled.
boda. bomba. enviar. voy. Córdoba
The Spanish "c" has the English "k" sound except when it comes before "e" and "i". Before "e" and "i" it has a "th" sound as in "thin"
casa. academia. con. Ecuador. cola
The Spanish "c" has the English "k" sound except when it comes before "e" and "i". Before "e" and "i" it has a "th" sound as in "thin"
barcelona. sociedad. recibir. receta
The Spanish "ch" is the same as the "ch" in church
mucho. bochorno. champán. champiñón. champú
The Spanish "d" is very similar to the English "d" when it comes at the end of a word it can have a "th" like sound eg. Madrid, verdad
duro. del. definir. ciudad. domingo
The Spanish "f" is the same as the English "f"
familia. freír. difícil. afeitar. foro
The Spanish "g" is like the Spanish "j" when it comes before "i" and "e". The Spanish "j" sounds like the "ch" in the Scottish "loch"
general. gemelo. geranio. gimnasio. gitano
The Spanish "g" is like the English "g" unless it comes before "i" and "e".
gordo. Galicia. golpe. guante. iglesia
The Spanish "h" is always silent
hombre. honor. Alhambra. rehacer.
The Spanish "j" is a strong guttural sound similar to the "ch" in the Scottish "loch"
jueves. jota. jabón. lenguaje. eje
The Spanish "k" is the same as the English "k" It is very uncommon in Spanish
kilo. kilovatio. kiosco. kiwi
The Spanish "l" is the same as the English "l"
loco. lobo. lámpara. ladrón
The Spanish "ll" sounds like the "y" in yes
calle. taller. valle.llamar. llover. lleno. Mallorca
The Spanish "m" is the same as the English "m"
mano. mama. tomar. malo. mixta
The Spanish "n" is the same as the English "n"
nada. nadar. nadie. no. uno
The Spanish "ñ" is like the "ni" in "onion" in English
España. baño. caña. riñón. teñir. Almuñecar
The Spanish "p" is the same as the "p" in English
padre. pato. apio. lápiz
The Spanish "q" is pronounced like the English "k" in "kick"
quien. queso. qué. querer. quince
The Spanish "r" is a similar to the English "r" but it is stronger and it sounds like the "r" in a Scottish accent.
robar. rabo. radio. mar
The Spanish "rr" does not exist in English. It is a very strong "r" with a trill. Many English speakers find this sound very difficult to pronounce.
perro. puerro. berro. carro. guerra. parra. barrio
The Spanish "s" has two sounds. It is pronounced the same as English except when it comes before b, d, g, l, m, n
casa. saber. sobre. cosas. asunto
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