Spanish Letter Combination

In Spanish, the letters CU plus a vowel make a [kw] sound like the English Q.

Por ejemplo…

cuello neck
cuando when
cuidado careful
de acuerdo in agreement
cuánto cuesta how much (does it) cost

 Note that CU + consonant is simply pronounced [koo]:

Por ejemplo…

cuchara spoon
escudilla bowl

Please note that this explanation 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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Spanish pronunciation