Pronunciation Key for Spanish Letters

This chart is intended serve only as a reference for the pronunciation of individual Spanish letters.  We recommend that you do not try to memorize this chart, but rather simply use it as a basic reference.  To learn how to pronounce words in Spanish, we recommend that you complete the audio exercises in our Complete Guide to Spanish Pronunciation.

LetterHow to pronounceSounds like
aahSounds like the a in “father” or 
b,v behThe letters and sound the same in Spanish. When found at the beginning of a word or following a consonant, they both make a sound like the English b in “ball”: and When found in the middle or end of word, they make a softer sound that falls somewhere in between the English b and v sounds, as in and
csehUsually sounds like c in cartwheel or  Before e or i, it makes an s sound like in the word
chchehSounds like the ch in “church” or
ddehSounds like the English d except between vowels and following l or n where pronounced almost like the th in “this”:
eehFor a syllable ending in a vowel, like the e in “they” or ; for a syllable ending in a consonant, like the e in “get” or 
feffeSounds like the f in “flute” or
ggeUsually like the ‘g’ in except before e or i, where it sounds like the English “h”, e.g.
hhacheIn general, the h sound is silent like in
iiSounds like the i in machine or Before vowels a, e, and o, it forms a “y” sound like in
jjotaSounds like an English h sound but a bit stronger, like
kkahLike the k in
leleLike the l in
llelleLike the y in “you”, e.g.
memeSounds like the English m, as in “mom” or
neneSounds like an English n as in
ñeñeSounds like the n in “onion”or “canyon” e.g.
oohFor a syllable ending in a vowel, sounds like the o in “vote” or
ppehSounds like an English p, but slightly softer, e.g.
qkooSounds like a k; always followed by a silent u, e.g.
rerePronounced with a strong trill when at the beginning of a word like or and following an l, n, or s; medium trill in other positions, like and very little trill when at the end of a word like
rrereStrongly trilled, as in
seseJust like the English s, e.g.
tteVery close to the English t but softer, the tongue touches the teeth and there is no explosion of breath after moving the tongue away, e.g.
uuSounds like the ur in rule. When paired with a vowel it makes a sound like the w in “well” as in  or 
vvehsee b, v
wdoble vehThe letter w is somewhat rare in Spanish and mostly used for foreign words. When it appears, it usually makes the same sound as the English w.
xequisUsually sounds like the x in “box” or
yy griegaUsually sounds like the y in “yes” or In many countries, y is pronounced with a soft j sound, as in
zzetaMostly pronounced like the English z as in (but can sound like the th in “thin” in parts of Spain, e.g. )