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Pronunciation and Spelling
Spanish Alphabet Pronunciation

Spanish Alphabet Pronunciation

Quick Answer

Learning how to pronounce the Spanish alphabet, or abecedario , is easy! Most letters only have one sound, which makes pronouncing them pretty simple.

The table below shows the letters in the abecedario, along with their Spanish name(s), and some tips on pronouncing them alone and in combination with other letters.

Pronouncing the Spanish Alphabet

LetterLetter Name(s)Pronunciation Tips
a
 
a
 
This letter sounds like the ah sound you use to express realization in English: Ah, that's the one!
b
 
be
 
This letter often sounds like an English b. Especially when it occurs between two vowels, it is pronounced with the lips not touching, much like the Spanish v. You may also hear it called be larga , be grande  or be de burro .
c
 
ce
 
This letter often sounds like the English k. Before e or i, it sounds like an s (or like the th in thick in many parts of Spain.)
ch
 
che
 
While this is not considered a letter anymore by the RAE, it sounds like the ch in cheese.
d
 
de
 
This letter sounds much like an English d, except you should place your tongue against your upper teeth instead of the roof of your mouth when pronouncing it. It often sounds like the th in English then, especially when it comes between two vowels.
e
 
e
 
This letter sounds like the eh sound you make when asking for clarification or agreement in English: Eh? What did you say?
f
 
efe
 
This letter sounds like the English f.
g
 
ge
 
This letter usually sounds much like an English g. Before e or i, it sounds like a harsh English h. It's very similar to the j in Spanish.
h
 
hache
 
In general, this letter is silent. However, in words adopted from other languages, the breathy aspiration is maintained. For example, Hawái .
i
 
i
 
This letter sounds like English ee but shorter.
j
 
jota
 
This letter sounds close to the English h sound, though it varies from country to country. In some places, it makes a harsh sound (almost like you are trying to spit something up). It never sounds like the j in English judge.
k
 
ca
 
This letter is uncommon in Spanish, but sounds much like the English k.
l
 
ele
 
This letter sounds close to the English l, but with the tongue raised closer to the roof of the mouth (rather than dipped down).
ll
 
elle
 
While this is not considered a letter anymore by the RAE, it sounds like the y sound in English yellow in many places. It can also be pronounced like the j in judge or the s in pleasure. You may also hear it called doble ele .
m
 
eme
 
This letter sounds just like the English m.
n
 
ene
 
This letter sounds just like the English n.
ñ
 
eñe
 
A completely separate letter from the n, this letter sounds much like the ni in onion or the ny in canyon.
o
 
o
 
This letter sounds close to the o in so, but shorter.
p
 
pe
 
This letter sounds close to the English p, but with less breath.
q
 
cu
 
This letter is always followed by the letter u and sounds like English k.
r
 
ere
 
This letter sounds a bit similar to the d sound in English caddy. At the beginning of a word, it's pronounced like the Spanish trilled rr (see below).
rr
 
doble ere
 
To make the famous trilled rr , the key is practice. Practice tip: Say the word butter (with American pronunciation) and think of the sound you make in the middle (tt). In American English, this sound is a tap. The Spanish rr is essentially many taps in a row, and you can practice it by saying the tt sound in butter over and over.
s
 
ese
 
This letter sounds just like the English s.
t
 
te
 
Softer than the English t, to say t in Spanish, the tongue should touch the teeth and there should be no explosion of breath after moving the tongue away.
u
 
u
 
This letter sounds close to the oo in food.
v
 
ve
 
This letter sounds much like the Spanish b. The lips do not touch and there is less aspiration. You may also hear it called ve corta , ve chica , ve de vaca .
w
 
doble ve
 
This letter is not native to Spanish, but sounds similar to English w. You may also hear it called doble uve  or doble u .
x
 
equis
 
This letter is pronounced like the ks in English socks. However, in place and person names (especially those from México ), it can be pronounced like a raspy English h, an s, or even the sh in English show.
y
 
i griega
 
Most of the time, this letter sounds like the y in English yes. At the end of a word, it sounds like the letter i (hay ). You may also hear it called ye .
z
 
zeta
 
This letter is mostly pronounced like the English s, but can sound like the th in English thin in many parts of Spain.

Alphabet Table

Here's a handy table with the letters of the Spanish alphabet and their names. spanish alphabet

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