Spanish Alphabet: Pronunciation and Examples

The Spanish Alphabet is one of those topics you should master first when learning this language. It is quite simple to remember and really important to master it for spelling purposes. This short lesson will show you how to pronounce all of the consonants and vowels that are part of the Spanish Alphabet. Let’s start…

A brief introduction to the Spanish Alphabet: Vowels and Consonants

The Spanish Alphabet, often called “Abecedario” or “Alfabeto”, is formed by twenty seven letters. Before 1994, the alphabet was composed by twenty nine letters, but the “Real Academia Española” (RAE) decided to exclude two of them: “CH” and “LL”. This way, only single letters are considered to be part of the alphabet and not these two special cases. Just like in English, the Spanish alphabet contains 5 vowels: “a, e, i, o, u”. Here is a picture showing all of the letters in the “abecedario” plus a recording with its pronunciation.

The Spanish Alphabet - El alfabeto en español

How to pronounce the Spanish alphabet: sounds and examples

As you can see, all of the letters in the picture can be found in the English alphabet, except for the letter “Ñ”. Remember there is also special letters like “CH” and “LL”. Next, we will show you the right pronunciation of each letter in the Spanish alphabet, followed by some common words using them.

A, a – Avión, Águila
A, a – Airplane, Eagle
B, b – Barril, Bota
B, b – Barrel, Boot
C, c – Casa, Hamaca
C, c – House, Hammock
Ch, ch – Chile, Chocolate
Ch, ch – Chile, Chocolate
D, d – Dentista, Dedo
D, d – Dentist, Finger
E, e – Experto, Estudiante
E, e – Expert, Student
F, f – Fuego, Flor
F, f – Fire, Flower
G, g – Gato, Gallina
G, g – Cat, Hen
H, h – Hermano, Hielo
H, h – Brother, Ice
I, i – Isla, Iglesia
I, i – Island, Church
J, j – Joya, Jarrón
J, j – Jewel, Vase
K, k – Kimono, Kilo
K, k – Kimono, Kilogram
L, l – Lodo, Limón
L, l – Mud, lemon
LL, ll – Llama, Silla
LL, ll – Llama, Chair
M, m – Mamá, Mono
M, m – Mama, Monkey
N, n – Nuevo, Noticias
N, n – New, News
Ñ, ñ – Niño, Cariño
Ñ, ñ – Child, Affection
O, o – Ojo, Olor
O, o – Eye, Smell
P, p – Papá, Poder
P, p – Dad, Power
Q, q – Queque, Queso
Q, q – Cake, Cheese
R, r – Rosa, Ratón
R, r – Rose, Mouse
S, s – Sábado, Amigos
S, s – Saturday, Friends
T, t – Tigre, tomate
T, t – Tiger, tomato
U, u – Uno, Universidad
U, u – One, University
V, v – Vaso, Velo
V, v – Glass, Veil
W, w – Web, Kiwi
W, w – Web, Kiwi
X, x – Taxi, Boxeo
X, x – Taxi, Boxing
Y, y – Yeso, Yema
Y, y – Plaster, Yolk
Z, z – Zapato, taza
Z, z – Shoe, cup

The pronunciation and sometimes names of some of the consonants may vary from one country to another, e.g. “V” (uve, ve chica) and “Y” (ye, i griega). Know that the letter “Z” has a different pronunciation in Spain compared to Latin America, where it sounds very similar to “S” – almost the same actually. Another interesting fact is that the letter “R” in Spanish has both a weak and strong pronunciation, something that you learn to recognize with practice, e.g. Marte (weak “R”) and “Rosa” (strong “R”). It is also very important to remember that the letter “H” is silent, which means that even if the word has an “H” somewhere you should not pronounce it at all.

There is much more to learn about the Spanish alphabet and we will certainly make use of this content in future lessons. We will focus on basic spelling rules in some lessons and provide examples of real situations where you might need this knowledge. Thanks for joining us! Enjoy learning Spanish!

Learn more with these other interesting lessons