The Easy Consonants
Here are the pronunciations of the consonants with sounds most like English's:
- C, at least in most of Latin America, is pronounced like the "c" in "cereal" when it comes before an e or an i, and like the "c" in "car" when it is other positions. Examples: complacer, hacer, ácido, carro, acabar, crimen. Note: Although you will be understood if you use the Latin American pronunciation, in parts of Spain the c sounds like the "th" in "thin" when it comes before an e or i.
- F is pronounced like the "f" in "fox." Examples: eficaz, frío, frenes.
- K has basically the same sound in Spanish, although somewhat softer. It is found primarily in words of foreign origin. Examples: kilómetro, Irak.
- M is pronounced like the "m" in "mother." Examples: madre, música, embajada.
- P is pronounced like the "p" in "spot." Note that the "p" in "spot" is softer and less explosive than the "p" in "pot." Examples: papas, padre, suponer.
- Q is pronounced the same as the k. Note that the u following a q is not pronounced. Examples: quetzal, siquiatra, que.
- S is pronounced like the "s" in "simple." You do not give it the "z" sound heard in "wears" and many other English plural words, although it can be slightly voiced (like a soft "z") when it comes before an m, b, d, v, g, l, n or r. Examples: Susana, seres humanos, sencillo, fantasma.
- T is pronounced like the "t" in "stop." Note that the "t" of "stop" is softer and less explosive than the "t" of "top." Examples: todo, yate, temer.
- W is pronounced like the "w" in "water." It is found primarily in words of foreign origin. Examples: kilowatt, Zimbabwe.
- Y is generally pronounced the same as in English.
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