1 Vote


I know that there are no major differences between the pronunciation of V and B (in spanish), but is there any? If not, why are there both letters?

Thanks, Rach


Conozco que no hay muchos grandes diferencias entre la pronunciación de V y B (en español), pero ¿hay algunos? Si no, ¿Por qué tiene ambas letras?

Gracías, Rachel

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4 Answers

1 Vote

Some Spanish speakers are bilingual (or even more languages) and speak another language that differentiates between these two letters (or sounds), and this has an impact on the way they pronounce the letter V.

However, the average Spanish speaker pronounces the V exactly like the B, and if you don't believe it, just check how often native Spanish speakers mix both letters when writing. Even in the 13th century, Spanish people were renown in Europe because they were incapable or distinguishing between both sounds, which was something weird for other people whose language clearly differentiate them.

According to all serious grammars, both letters are pronounced exactly the same in standard Spanish, but bear in mind that the letter B (or V) has two pronunciations in Spanish, not one.

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This is a controversial subject. Some pronunciation guides wil tell you that b sounds just like beh as in the b in bat while the v sounds like a cross between a b and a v. Having a b v effect. Thats what I have been familiar with.

Yet other pronunciation guides say that the b and the v sound exactly the same, which is beh. And that is why when they have spelling bees the b is often referred to as b grande and the v as v chica.

I have been using the slightly different sounds myself, because they are two different letters. But after listening to natives say the v, more like the b as in bat, I am beginning to pronounce my v's more like that as well.

As to why both letters sound the same, I don't know.

Looking at the pronunciation guide we have here and at aboutspanish.com both b and v sound alike having two different sounds. I like the explainatio Lazarus gave as to why we here some natives use different sounds. smile

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Exactly the same. http://spanish.about.com/od/spanishpronunciation/a/b.htm

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HI rachel, you already have several good answers, for more input on this question, please make a search, there are lots of threads on this topic,-

Welcome to the forumsmile

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