Alphabet, Pronunciation, Accents

Overview: The Spanish Alphabet, Pronunciation

The Spanish Alphabet

A FATHER
B BOY
C CAT (before A, O, U) / ICE (before E, I in America), FATHER (before E, I in Spain)
D DOG (at beginning) / ~FATHER
E CAKE
F FUN
G GIRL (before A, O, U) / ~HAPPY (before E, I)
H silent
I FEET
J ~HAPPY
K KID
L LOVE
M MAN
N NICE
Ñ CANYON
O OVER
P PINT
Q CAT
R ~BOTTLE / rolling R (at beginning or end)
S SONG
T TALL
U DUNE
V BOY (at beginning) / ~VIEW
W WATER
X EXIT / HAPPY (unpredictable change)
Y YES
Z SUN (in America) / FATHER (in Spain)
CH  CHALK
LL YES
RR rolling R

Vowels and Diphthongs

1. In general, each vowel is part of a different syllable

e.g. mayonesa  –> ma-yo-ne-sa
e.g. koala –> ko-a-la

2. Two vowels can form one syllable. This is a diphthong.

3. Diphthong = I or U plus any other vowel

e.g. agua –> a-gua
e.g. fiesta –> fies-ta
e.g. huimos –> hui-mos

Overview: Accents

1. Spanish has two rules for which syllable to stress

  • If the words ends in a vowel, N or S –> stress the second-to-last syllable
    • mesa, computadora, trabajan
  • If the words ends in anything else –> stress the last syllable
    • hospital, bondad, escuchar

2. An accent shows we are breaking these rules

e.g. hablaré
e.g. azúcar
e.g. pájaro

3. In a diphthong, if accent on A, E, O, stress diphthong. If accent on I, U, break up diphthong.

e.g. trabajáis –> tra-ba-jáis
e.g. filosofía –> fi-lo-so-fí-a

4. Accents are used to distinguish between words that are spelled the same.

e.g. si = if
e.g. sí = yes

5. Accents are used in question words.

e.g. ¿Dónde? = Where?

6. Two dots over a U mean pronounce the U.

e.g. pingüino

7. Put an accent on the words “que” and “cual” when used in an exclamation.

e.g. ¡Qué maravilloso! = How wonderful!
e.g. ¡Cuál dilema! = What a dilema!

8. With demonstrative pronouns

e.g. Quiero éste. = I want this one.

Tutorial: The Spanish Alphabet

Practice Quiz: Alphabet, Single Letters

Alphabet, Single Letters

Write the letter you hear.

Practice Quiz: Complete Words, Moderate Speed 1

Complete Words, Moderate Speed 1

Spell the word that you hear.

Practice Quiz: Complete Words, Moderate Speed 2

Complete Words, Moderate Speed 2

Spell the words that you hear.

Practice Quiz: Complete Words, Faster 1

Complete Words, Faster 1

Spell the word you hear.

Practice Quiz: Complete Words, Faster 2

Complete Words, Faster 2

Spell the word you hear.

Tutorial: Pronunciation, The Rules

Tutorial: Vowels

Tutorial: Diphthongs

Tutorial: Stress (Emphasis) and Accents, Part 1

Tutorial: Accents, Part 2

Tutorial: Accents, Final Details

Practice Quiz: Words with Accents

Words with Accents

Spell the word you hear.