Rules of pronunciation


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RULES OF PRONUNCIATION



The 5 Spanish vowels have always the same clear sound and if there are two together, each of them keeps its own.


(with the 5 vowels)

A

E

I

O

U

K:

CA

QUE

QUI

CO

CU

Z:

ZA

CE

CI

ZO

ZU

G:

GA

GUE

GUI

GO

GU

J:

JA

JE, GE

JI, GI

JO

JU



- In the syllables "gue" and "gui" the "u" will be pronounced only if it has a ¨ (diéresis) on it.

cigüeña

stork

pingüino

penguin

vergüenza

shame



- Q is only used to form the sounds "que" and "qui" (ke, ki)

¿Qué?

What?

¿Quién?

Who?




- K has the same sound as Q but it is only use for words with a foreign origin:

Kilo

Kilómetro

Pekín

Irak


- Z never comes before "e" or "i".

zig-zag

Zig-zag

zeta

zet

zipizape

mess



- H is never pronounced

hoy

today

haber

to have



But the H after C produce a special sound such as: Che Guevara or cha-cha-cha

- V has a similar pronunciation as B.

Vivo en Barcelona. I live in Barcelona


- R at the beginning of a word or after "n" or "l" has an strong sound, the same as RR in the middle of a word. Otherwise a lone "r" has a light sound such as pero (but).

rata

rat

Enrique

Henry

alrededor

around

perro

dog


- LL has a similar pronunciation as "Y" before a vowel.

Yo vivo en Sevilla,

I live in Sevilla.


- There are never two same consonants together such as "pp", "ss", or "tt" with the exception of "cc" if its sound is "kc"

lección (it is pronounced as lekcion),


or "nn" if the prefix "in" precedes another "n".

innecesario, unnecesary