Advanced Pronunciation

Pronunciación avanzada

Spanish pronunciation is phonemic, meaning that according to the pronunciation rules, in a given use, each letter is always pronounced a certain way. Many Spanish letters have only one pronunciation, making them especially easy to learn. But certain consonants have two pronunciations depending on where/how they are used. That's what this lesson is about. Take a look at this summary of "dual-pronunciation" letters, and then click on the individual letters for more in-depth explanations.

LetterSoundUsage
B, V[b]beginning of word or after consonant
   Similar English sound
biengood boy
árboltree  
vosotrosyou (plural)  
inviernowinter  
   
B, Vbilabial fricativeeverywhere else
   Similar English sound
hablarspeak n/a
problemaproblem  
nuevenine  
noventaninety  
    
LetterSoundUsage
C[th]preceding E or I
   Similar English sound
onceeleven ounce
diciembreDecember  
    
C[k]preceding A, O, U, or consonant
   Similar English sound
comoeat cat
cuatrofour  
octubreOctober  
    
LetterSoundUsage
D[d]beginning of word or after L or N
   Similar English sound
dostwo dog
cuándowhen had
faldaskirt welding
    
D[TH]everywhere else
   Similar English sound
adiósgoodbye this
perdónexcuse bathe
saludhealth  
    
LetterSoundUsage
G[g]preceding A, O, U, or consonant
   Similar English sound
agostoAugust ago
aguawater go
galletacookie guy
grandebig great
    
G[kh]preceding E or I
   Similar English sound
gentepeople ch in loch
gigantegiant  
    
LetterSoundUsage
S[z]preceding B, D, G, L, M, N
   Similar English sound
mismosame rose
desdesince cause
    
S[s]everywhere else
   Similar English sound
escuelaschool house
grisgrey some
sombrerohat  
    
LetterSoundUsage
X[ks]n/a
   Similar English sound
éxitosuccess axe
exceptoexcept mix
    
X[gz]n/a
   Similar English sound
exactoexact exact
exigirdemand example

Please note that this lesson is only a guideline for the Spanish that I know, which is Castilian Spanish. There are many regional variations in Spanish pronunciation.

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