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SIMPLIFIED BASIC SPANISH GRAMMAR

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SIMPLIFIED BASIC SPANISH GRAMMAR
(and pronunciation) LESSONS ☺
PRONUNCIATION

®

ALPHABET: What makes Spanish pronunciation easy is the consistency. The
consonants and vowels ALWAYS have the same sound! The a is always ah; never short as
in cat, long as in cape or a schwa as in about. Consider the many sounds the English ou
has in these words: tough - schwa, thought - ah (aw if you are from Brooklyn☺), through oo, though - long o, and mouse - ow. The Spanish ou would have only one! Even when
you combine two vowels into a diphthong (one sound)… if the diphthong is pronounced
slowly, each vowel sound still has the same sound as if it were standing alone. Example #1:
ei = eh+ee. If you say these two sounds together quickly you’ll get an English long a
sound. Example #2: ai (ay) = ah+ee. If you say these two sounds together quickly you’ll
get an English long i sound.
a

ah

f

eh-feh

l

eh-leh

p

peh

u

oo

b

beh

g heh

ll

eh-yeh

q

koo

v

oo-beh

c

ceh

h ah-cheh m eh-meh

r

eh-reh

w doh-bleh-beh

ch cheh i

ee

n

eh-neh

rr eh-rreh x

d

deh

j

hoh-tah

ñ

ehn-yeh s

eh-seh

y

ee-gree-eh-gah

e

eh

k kah

o

oh

teh

z

ceh-tah

t

eh-kees

Once you learn the sounds of each letter you can pronounce absolutely ANYTHING!
Spanish Letter English Sound
b&v

b

ce, ci, z

seh, see, s (outside of Spain) theh, thee, th (in Spain)

d

like a th when at the end of a word

g

hard g as in “go” before a, o & u and an h before e & i

h

silent

j

h

ñ

ny (as in canyon)

qu

k (not kw like in English)

r

placement in the mouth is the same as an English d.

rr

r with a roll of the tongue
1

®

STRESS (Not the kind you are feeling!☺): Just as in English, Spanish stresses a
certain syllable in each word. Only one syllable is stressed.
• If a word ends in a consonant, except n or s, the stress falls on the last syllable.
• If a word ends in a vowel, n or s, the stress falls on the second to the last syllable.
• For words that do not follow these two rules, an accent is written over the
stressed vowel so that you will know to emphasize the word. Example: sábado
You would normally stress the second to last syllable of a word ending in o but
since there is an accent mark written on the third to the last syllable (the first a)
then the emphasis is placed there.

NOUN GENDER: All nouns in Spanish have a gender. They are either masculine or
feminine. It is very important to learn a noun's gender along with the noun itself because
articles (the, a) and adjectives...
1
SIMPLIFIED BASIC SPANISH GRAMMAR
(and pronunciation) LESSONS
PRONUNCIATION
® ALPHABET: What makes Spanish pronunciation easy is the consistency. The
consonants and vowels ALWAYS have the same sound! The a is always ah; never short as
in cat, long as in cape or a schwa as in about. Consider the many sounds the English ou
has in these words: tough - schwa, thought - ah (aw if you are from Brooklyn), through -
oo, though - long o, and mouse - ow. The Spanish ou would have only one! Even when
you combine two vowels into a diphthong (one sound)… if the diphthong is pronounced
slowly, each vowel sound still has the same sound as if it were standing alone. Example #1:
ei = eh+ee. If you say these two sounds together quickly you’ll get an English long a
sound. Example #2: ai (ay) = ah+ee. If you say these two sounds together quickly you’ll
get an English long i sound.
a ah f eh-feh l eh-leh p peh u oo
b beh g
heh ll eh-yeh q koo v oo-beh
c ceh h
ah-cheh
m
eh-meh r eh-reh w
doh-bleh-beh
ch
cheh
i ee n eh-neh rr
eh-rreh
x eh-kees
d deh j hoh-tah
ñ ehn-yeh
s eh-seh y ee-gree-eh-gah
e eh k
kah o oh t teh z ceh-tah
Once you learn the sounds of each letter you can pronounce absolutely ANYTHING!
Spanish Letter
English Sound
b & v b
ce, ci, z seh, see, s (outside of Spain) theh, thee, th (in Spain)
d like a th when at the end of a word
g hard g as in “go” before a, o & u and an h before e & i
h silent
j h
ñ ny (as in canyon)
qu k (not kw like in English)
r placement in the mouth is the same as an English d.
rr r with a roll of the tongue
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