Alphabet and pronunciation

Introduction

An alphabet is a standard set of letters that is used to write languages based upon the general principle that the letters represent phonemes. So in order to speak and write any language, it is important to learn the alphabet. Also, it is important to know the proper pronunciation of letters. This post is dedicated to help you with that.




Spanish alphabet

A,a a avión
B,b be barco
C,c ce

ci

cepillo

cine

ca

co

cu

casa

coche

cuchillo

D,d de dado
E,e e elefante
F,f efe flor
G,g ge

gi

gente

girasol

ga

go

gu

gato

goma

guante

gue

gui

guerra

guitarra

H,h hache halcón
I,i i isla
J,j jota juguete
K,k ca kiwi
L,l ele león
LL,ll elle llave
M,m eme manzana
N,n ene naranja
Ñ,ñ eñe niño
O,o o oveja
P,p pe pelota
Q,q cu queso
R,r ere

erre

pera

reloj

S,s ese sandía
T,t te tarta
U,u u uvas
V,v uve violín
W,w uve double water-polo
X,x equis xilófon
Y,y i,griega yegua
Z,z zeta zapato




Vowels

Spanish has 5 vowels: a,e,i,o,u
Pronunciation of vowels is different than in English so we will say:

  • A – avión – apple
  • E – elefante – example
  • I – isla – inside
  • O – oveja – origin
  • U – uvas – ultimate

Vowels can also have accent added to them, so a can also be á. Read our full guide abut accents here.

 

Pronunciation of consonants

Some consonants can have different pronunciation depending of vowel that comes after letter.

Letter “C”
C a /K/ casa
e /S/ cerdo
i /S/ cielo
o /K/ cosa
u /K/ curva

In table above C is pronounced like /K/ in front of a,o,u and /S/ in front of e,i.

Letter “G”
G a /G/ gato
e /J/ genial
i /J/ gimnasio
o /G/ gordo
u /G/ guapo

As you can see in table above G is pronounced like /G/ in front of a,o,u and /J/ in front of e,i. You can notice that changes happen in front of same vowels, so both C and G changing itself in front of e,i.

But G has two specific pronunciations too:

G ue /G/ guerra
ue /G/ guitarra

In that case “u” is silent and is not pronounced and G is pronounced like in front of a,o,u.

“C” before “H”

C before H sounds like ch in English word cheese or champion.

Ch che chaqueta

Note that che is not considered a letter anymore by the RAE, before it was part of alphabet.

Jota – “J”

Note that “j” is pronounced differently in Spanish than in English. It is pronounced like “H” in English word home. Always keep that in mind.

J jota jugar
Silent “H”

Never forget that “h” is silent in Spanish, it is never pronounced!

H hache hombre
  • hombre, hermano
Double ele

When two LL come together they can be pronounced like the Y in English yellow, or like J in English June.

LL elle llamar
Double erre

When two erres appear together, they are trilled (the sound you make when you roll your tongue). A single erre at the beginning of a word is also trilled.

rr erre reloj, carro

If you liked this post check our other posts too. For example our Pretértio perfecto tutorial here.

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Marko Vucak Author

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