Spelling Words in Spanish: Examples and Listening Practice

¡Hola! Welcome to a new lesson. Today, we will focus on using the alphabet to spell words in Spanish. In order to do so, we have prepared some sample conversations with people spelling words in Spanish, including words like names and other information. This lesson will also give you the chance to practice listening, first through the examples and then with two listening activities. Let’s start…

Spelling words in Spanish lesson with listening activities
Deletreando palabras en español

Spelling words in Spanish: Ways to ask and related phrases

In this section, we will cover some of the most common situations in which you’d need to spell words in Spanish. You will realize that these situations are similar in English. The sample conversations include basic questions like: “¿Cómo se deletrea + word?” or simply “¿Cómo se escribe + word?”. People will usually reply with “Se deletrea” + spelling.

When listening to the examples below, pay attention to the pronunciation of the letters that are part of the Spanish alphabet, as well as the main words that are being spelled. Also, before reading the translation, try to identify the real context in each of the examples, that is the place and people who are spelling words in Spanish.

Example No. 1

  • Ximena: ¡Buenos días! ¿Me puede buscar en la lista?
  • Asistente: Si claro, ¿Cuál es su nombre?
  • Ximena: Me llamo Ximena.
  • Asistente: ¿Cómo deletrea su nombre?
  • Ximena: Se deletrea X-I-M-E-N-A.
  • Asistente: Muy bien, está en la lista. Gracias Señorita. Puede pasar adelante.
Read English translation
Ximena: Good morning! Can you look me up in the list?
Assistant: Yes, of course. What’s your name?
Ximena: My name is Ximena.
Assistant: How do you spell your name?
Ximena: It is spelled X-I-M-E-N-A.
Assistant: Very good, you are in the list. Thank you, Miss. You may come in.

Example No. 2

  • Maestra: Bien, como les decía, algunas prendas de vestir en español son: “la camisa”, “el pantalón” y “los zapatos”
  • Estudiante: Disculpe maestra, ¿Cómo se deletrea “Zapatos”?
  • Maestra: Se deletrea “Z-A-P-A-T-O-S”
  • Estudiante: ¿Entonces no se escribe con S al principio?
  • Maestra: No, aunque nosotros pronunciamos “Zapatos” como “S”, se escribe con “Z” al principio.
Read English translation
Teacher: Well, as I was saying, some clothing in Spanish are: “shirt”, “pants” and “shoes”
Student: Excuse me,teacher, how do you spell “ZAPATOS”?
Teacher: You say “Z-A-P-A-T-O-S”
Student: So it’s not written with S at the beginning?
Teacher: No, although we pronounce “Sapatos” with “S”, it is written with “Z” at the beginning.

Example No. 3

  • Chico: Oye, tengo una duda ¿Cómo se deletrea esta palabra?
  • Chica: Se deletrea “D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-A”. Disciplina.
  • Chico: Entonces debo agregar las letras S y C en la primera sílaba.
Read English translation
Boy: Hey, I have a question. How do you spell this word?
Girl: It is spelled “D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-A”. Disciplina.
Boy:So I must add the letters S and C on the first syllable.

Example No. 4

  • Maestro: Ok, revisemos su ensayo… uhmm.. Esta palabra no se deletrea con la letra “B” sino con la letra “V” aunque la pronunciación es la misma.
  • Estudiante: Entonces se deletrea “V-A-S-O”, no “B-A-S-O” ¿verdad?
  • Maestro: Si, así es. La palabra “CORAZÓN” se deletrea “C-O-R-A-Z-Ó-N”, con “Z” no con “S” y con tilde en la última sílaba.
  • Estudiante: Entiendo, gracias maestro.
Read English translation
Teacher: Okay, let’s review your essay…. umm. This word is not spelled with the letter “B” but with the letter “V”, although the pronunciation is the same.
Student: Then, you spell “V-A-S-O”, not “B-A-S-O”, right?
Teacher: Yes. The word “CORAZÓN” is spelled “C-O-R-A-Z-Ó-N”, with “Z” not with “S” and with tilde in the last syllable.
Student: I understand, thank you, teacher.

Listening Activity No. 1: How do you spell that word in Spanish?

In this recording, you will listen to someone spelling words in Spanish. Your job is to select the words in the quiz that match the ones in the audio. It would certainly help if you write down the words. ¡Buena suerte!

Listening Activity No. 2: Spelling Names in Spanish

Listen to two friends discussing how to spell some words in Spanish. Pay attention to the main idea of the conversation and figure out the words they are spelling. Then, test your comprehension with the interactive quiz.
Conversation script: Spelling names in Spanish
Francisco: Ven Teresa. Ayúdame a buscar nombres para bebés.
Teresa: ¿Aún no decides el nombre del bebé?
Francisco: Aún no. Mira… ¿Qué opinas de “Pedro”? Solo cinco letras, P-E-D-R-O.
Teresa: Es muy sencillo. A ver, dime otro.
Francisco: Bueno, ¿Qué te parece “Bernaldo”? Se deletrea “B-E-R-N-A-L-D-O”
Teresa: Bernaldo es un nombre poco común. Oye, piensa en uno más bonito.
Francisco: ¡Qué difícil! ¿Qué te parece “GERARDO”?
Teresa: ¿Cómo se deletrea “Gerardo”?
Francisco: G-E-R-A-R-D-O.
Teresa: Bien, creo que GERARDO es mejor que PEDRO y BERNALDO. Qué alivio que no se llame EUSTAQUIO o MODESTO.
Francisco: Tranquila, GERARDO está bien.

This is the end of this lesson. We hope you found it useful. Leave us a comment if you have doubts and check the recommendations below if you want to learn more about other topics. ¡Hasta pronto!

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