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Appendix A: Introduction to Spanish Sounds

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1 Appendix A: Introduction to Spanish Sounds
The following guide to Spanish pronunciation is designed to enhance your speaking ability. You will hear a series of words related to a particular sound. Repeat each word after the speaker, imitating the pronunciation as closely as you can.

2 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Vowels The Spanish a has a sound similar to the English a in the word father. Repeat: Ana casa banana mala dama mata Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

3 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Vowels The Spanish e is pronounced like the English e in the word eight. Repeat: este René teme déme entre bebe Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

4 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Vowels The Spanish i is pronounced like the English ee in the word see. Repeat: sí difícil Mimí ir divider Fifí Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

5 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Vowels The Spanish o is similar to the English o in the word no, but without the glide. Repeat: solo poco como toco con monólogo Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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The Vowels The Spanish u is similar to the English ue sound in the word Sue. Repeat: Lulú un su universo murciélago Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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The Consonants The Spanish p is pronounced like the English p in the word spot. Repeat: pan papá Pepe pila poco pude Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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The Consonants The Spanish c in front of a, o, u, l, or r sounds similar to the English k. Repeat: casa como cuna clima crimen cromo Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

9 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The Spanish q is only used in the combinations que and qui in which the u is silent and also has a sound similar to the English k. Repeat: que queso Quique quinto quema quiso Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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The Consonants The Spanish t is pronounced like the English t in the word stop. Repeat: toma mata tela tipo atún Tito Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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The Consonants The Spanish d at the beginning of an utterance or after n or l sounds somewhat similar to the English d in the word David. Repeat: día dedo duelo anda Aldo Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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The Consonants The Spanish g also has two sounds. At the beginning of an utterance and in all other positions, except before e and i, the Spanish g sounds similar to the English g in the word sugar. Repeat: goma gato tengo lago algo aguja Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

13 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The Spanish j, and g before e or i, sounds similar to the English h in the word home. Repeat: jamás juego jota Julio gente Genaro gime Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

14 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The Spanish b and the v have no difference in sound. Both are pronounced alike. At the beginning of the utterance or after m or n, they sound similar to the English b in the word obey. Repeat: Beto vaga bote vela también un vaso Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

15 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants Between vowels, they are pronounced with the lips barely closed. Repeat: sábado yo voy sabe Ávalos eso vale Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

16 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants In most Spanish-speaking countries, the y and the ll are similar to the English y in the word yet. Repeat: yo llama yema lleno ya lluvia llega Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

17 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The Spanish r (ere) is pronounced like the English tt in the word gutter. Repeat: cara pero arena carie Laredo Aruba Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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The Consonants The Spanish s sound is represented in most of the Spanish-speaking world by the letters s, z, and c before e or i. The sound is very similar to the English sibilant s in the word sink. Repeat: sale sitio solo seda suelo zapato cerveza ciudad cena Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

19 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants In most of Spain, the z, and c before e or i, is pronounced like the English th in the word think. Repeat: zarzuela cielo docena Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

20 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The letter h is silent in Spanish. Repeat: hilo Hugo ahora Hilda almohada hermano Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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The Consonants The Spanish ch is pronounced like the English ch in the word chief. Repeat: muchacho chico coche chueco chaparro Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

22 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The Spanish f is identical in sound to the English f. Repeat: famoso feo difícil fuego foto Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

23 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The Spanish l is pronounced like the English l in the word lean. Repeat: dolor ángel fácil sueldo salgo chaval Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

24 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The Spanish m is pronounced like the English m in the word mother. Repeat: mamá moda multa medico mima Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

25 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants In most cases, the Spanish n has a sound similar to the English n. Repeat: nada norte nunca entra nene Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

26 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The sound of the Spanish n is often affected by the sounds that occur around it. When it appears before b, v or p, it is pronounced like the English m. Repeat: invierno tan bueno un vaso un bebé un perro Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

27 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The Spanish ñ (eñe) has a sound similar to the English ny in the word canyon. Repeat: muñeca leña año señorita piña señor Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

28 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants The Spanish x has two pronunciations, depending on its position. Between vowels, the sound is similar to the English ks. Repeat: examen boxeo exigente extraño Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

29 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
The Consonants Before a consonant, the Spanish x sounds like the English s. Repeat: expreso excusa exquisito extraño Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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Linking In spoken Spanish, the various words in a phrase or sentence are not pronounced as isolated elements, but are combined. This is called linking. The final consonant of a word is pronounced together with the initial vowel of the following word. Repeat: Carlos anda un angel el otoño unos estudiantes Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

31 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Linking The final vowel of a word is pronounced together with the initial vowel of the following word. Repeat: su esposo la hermana ardua empresa la invita Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

32 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Linking When the final vowel of a word and the initial vowel of the following word are identical, they are pronounced slightly longer than one vowel. Repeat: Ana alcanza me espera mi hijo lo olvida Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

33 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Linking The same rule applies when two identical vowels appear within a word. Repeat: cooperación crees leemos coordinación Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


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