Pronouncing consonants in Spanish

Many Spanish consonants are pronounced similar to their English equivalents – but there are some important exceptions!

These letters are pronounced the same as their English equivalents:
F
K (though K only appears in words borrowed from other languages)
L
M
N
P
S

W (though W only appears in words borrowed from other languages)
X
Y
Z


These letters are different from their English equivalents: B and V
B and V are pronounced the same in Spanish. If you imagine a continuum between a "b" sound and a "v" sound, they are typically pronounced closer to "b", but a little bit less aspirated than the English "b." At the beginning of a word, these letters sound closer to a "b" sound, while between vowels in the middle of the word, these letters sound closer to a "v" sound.
Examples:
Veinte [20]
Beber [to drink

C
Before the letters A,O, and U, the letter C is pronounced like the English letter "k." Before E and I, it is pronounced like the English letter "s."
Examples:
Cuatro [4]
Cinco [5]

Ch
Ch is pronounced like the "ch" in "chat."
Example:
Chica [girl]

D
D is pronounced slightly softer than its English equivalent, especially after a vowel or at the end of the word.
Examples:
Dos [2]
Ciudad [city]

G
G is pronounced the same as its English equivalent before the letters "a," "o," and "u." Before "e" and "i," it is pronounced like the English letter H.
Example:
Gigante [gigantic]

H
H is always silent in Spanish.
Example:
Hola [hello]

J
J Is pronounced like the English letter "h."
Example:
Jueves [Thursday]

Ll
When two Ls appear next to each other, they are pronounced like the English "y."
Example:
Me llamo... [my name is...]

Ñ
The Spanish letter ñ is pronounced like the "ni" sound in the word "onion"
Examples:
Mañana [tomorrow]

Qu
Qu is pronounced like the English letter "k"
Example:
Quién [who]

Rr
When two Rs appear next to each other, they are produced with a rolling "r" sound.
Example:
Arroz [rice]

T
T T is pronounced slightly softer than its English equivalent.
Example:
Tiempo [time]

Related Links:
Pronouncing Vowel Sounds in Spanish
Spanish Worksheets
Spanish Quizzes
Spanish Games
Spanish FlashCards


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