Say Hello in Spanish
Top Spanish Phrases
Thank You in Spanish
Table of Contents
- Introduction To Spanish Writing
- Spanish Alphabet Chart
- Why is Learning the Spanish Alphabet Important?
- How to Download Your Free Spanish eBook
- Secrets to Learning the Spanish Alphabet Fast
- Related Lessons
The Spanish alphabet consists of twenty-seven letters (five vowels and twenty-two consonants). We use all of the letters in the Spanish alphabet also in the English alphabet, with the exception of -ñ. In addition, there are three two-letter combinations called digraphs that we traditionally analyze as single units: -ch, -ll, and -rr.
We stress Spanish words according to two patterns. The first regular pattern is for words that end in one of the five vowels, an -n, or an -s: we stress these words on the second-to-last syllable. This accounts for the vast majority of Spanish words. The second regular stress pattern is for words that do not end in a vowel, an -n, or an -s, and we stress those words on the final syllable. We write words that do not follow the two regular stress patterns listed above with an accent mark over the vowel of the syllable in question.
In addition to accent marks indicating stress, a few Spanish words carry a written accent to distinguish homonyms (e.g., definite article el vs. subject pronoun él).
Spanish Alphabet Chart
Listening to Spanish speakers roll their Rs and sound out other letters, you may be tempted to think that the Spanish alphabet is mysterious and exotic, but you would be wrong. The 27-letter alphabet, which is based off the Latin alphabet, does have a few extra Spanish letters, but it is almost the same as the English alphabet with a few exceptions.
Pronunciation of individual letters is also strikingly similar with a few exceptions.
Note that the provided alphabet list below offers phonetic pronunciation; the actual spelling for each letter is similar but not the same.
① The Spanish alphabet and phonetic pronunciation:
- A (a): ah
- B (b): beh
- C (c): she
- CH (ch): che
- D (d): deh
- E (e): eh
- F (f): efeh
- G (g): heh
- H (h): acheh
- I (i): ee
- J (j): hota
- K (k): kah
- L (l): eleh
- LL (ll): eyeh
- M (m): emeh
- N (n): eneh
- Ñ (ñ): enyeh
- O (o): oh
- P (p): peh
- Q (q): cu
- R (r): erreh
- S (s): eseh
- T (t): teh
- U (u): uu
- V (v): uveh
- W (w): doble-uu or uveh-doble
- X (x): equis
- Y (y): yeh
- Z (z): zetah
In the alphabet above there are two extra letters listed, making a grand total of 29 letters. Of the three extra letters, CHch, LLll, and Ññ, Ññ is the most well-known and is considered an official letter. The other two are not always listed as letters in Spanish alphabet guides, but you may come across them in older alphabet listings.
The history of the letter Ññ can be especially interesting to a history buff studying Spanish words. Originally a line above the letter, also called a tilde, such as the ones used over an Nn denoted double letters in a word. Over time the tilde was dropped from other double letters, and eventually it began to represent sound instead. Some examples of Spanish words that came to use the letter Ññ are:
- Araña: Spider
- Niña/Niño: Girl/Boy
- Baño: Bathroom
- Año: Year
- Piñata: Piñata
- Señor/Señora: Older man/Older woman can also be used for Sir/Madam
- Señorita: Young lady/Miss
- Piña: Pineapple
With only one major deviation from the English alphabet the Spanish alphabet can be a quick study. Even pronunciation of the letters is largely phonetic and simple for students to pick up on. Since the alphabet is one of the first things you will study as you learn Spanish it may feel like a daunting task to begin with, but once you see all the familiar letters you will quickly realize that learning the alphabet will be one of your easiest Spanish lessons
② Spanish Alphabet Chart:
|Always open, like the ‘o’ of ‘hot’ (i.e. ‘ah’); never the closed ‘a’ sound of ‘hate’|
|The same as the English ‘b’; also, the same as the Spanish ‘v’|
|The soft ‘c’ or ’s’ sound|
|The hard ‘c’ or ‘k’ sound|
|The ‘d’ in Spanish is equivalent to the ‘d’ in English|
|Always the closed ‘a’ sound of ‘ape’; never the open “e” sound of ‘get’|
|The ‘f’ sound in the Spanish is equivalent to the ‘f’ and ‘ph’ sound in English|
|Like the ‘h’ in English, but slightly guttural|
|This hard ‘g’ sound is equivalent to the hard ‘g’ in English|
|The ‘h’ in Spanish is always silent, like the silent ‘h’ in English|
|The ‘i’ in Spanish is always the ‘ee’ sound; never the open ‘i’ of ‘hit’, nor the closed sound of ‘bite’|
|The ‘j’ in Spanish is similar to the ‘h’ in Englis, except the Spanish ‘j’ is harsher, slightly gutteral|
|The hard ‘c’ or ‘k’, like in English|
|The ‘l’ in Spanish is the same as in English|
|Between the ‘yuh’ sound of ‘y’ and the ’shuh’ in english|
|The ‘m’ in Spanish is equivalent to the ‘m’ in English|
|The ‘n’ in Spanish is the same as in English|
|Unlike any single letter in English, the ‘ñ’ must be distinguished from the ‘n’|
|Always the closed ‘o’ of ‘hope’; never the open ‘o’ of ‘hop’|
|The Spanish ‘p’ is the same as the English|
|Always the hard ‘k’ sound; although always followed by the ‘u’, the ‘u’ is always silent|
|The ‘r’ in Spanish requires the tip of the tongue to touch the front part of the roof of the mouth|
|Always the soft ’s’ of ‘sound’ never the ‘z’ sound of ‘lands‘|
|The Spanish ‘t’ is equivalent to the ‘t’ in English|
|Always the ‘oo’ sound of ‘fume’; never the open ‘u’ sound of ‘upper’, nor the closed ‘u’ of ‘unicycle’|
|B, like the English ‘b’; there is no phonetic difference between the ‘b’ and ‘v’ in Spanish|
|Only used for foreign words, sounds like w or v in English|
|Ex, the hard consonant, as in English|
|The soft ‘c’ or ’s’, not vibrating ‘z’ of buzz|
|The ‘yuh’ sound, very similar to the English, sometimes with a soft ’sh’|
|The ’ss’ of ’s’, never the ‘z’ of ‘buzz’|
Why is Learning the Spanish Alphabet Important?
A language’s alphabet is its building blocks. Trying to learn how to write in Spanish without first learning its alphabet is a bit like trying to build a brick house without touching the individual bricks! It is impossible to do a good job that way. So don’t believe language schools and methods that try to teach you otherwise. You will regret it later.
Also, once you start recognizing symbols and words, you will be encouraged by your own progress and motivated to learn even faster. Even just learning the basics of the alphabet will allow you to start recognizing simple Spanish words, and it will feel great!
Furthermore, knowing the alphabet even helps with pronunciation, as learning the individual letters of any language will start uncovering nuances and intricacies that are not always apparent when you’re simply listening to the words.
Completely mastering the Spanish alphabet, no matter how long it takes, will give you an excellent head start in learning how to write and read the language. It will offer you a solid foundation on which to build the other language skills, so set a goal to learn the alphabet so well that you’re able to recite it in your sleep!
Read on for helpful tips and secrets to learning the Spanish alphabet quickly and effectively.
How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Spanish
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3 Reasons to Learn Spanish Through PDF Lessons
Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Spanish lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!
① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan
Learning Spanish through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve download the Spanish lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Spanish using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!
② Print and Take All Spanish Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere
Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Spanish lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!
③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery
Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Spanish lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Spanish using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!
Why are we giving it away?
Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Spanish at SpanishPod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.
Secrets to Learning the Spanish Alphabet Fast
With a language, like with anything you have to learn from scratch, having a few mnemonic devices handy are key to learning it fast. A mnemonic device is basically any method or technique that helps you to retain or commit something to memory more easily.
Here are a few mnemonic devices to memorize the Spanish alphabet so you can speed up learning how to write in Spanish.
① Find and Learn an Alphabet Song or Poem in Spanish
Can you still remember your childhood alphabet song in your own language? The best way to commit it to memory so you can recite it is still your mom or first teacher’s way - with music, a song and/or a poem! Find a recording and learn to sing the song, or recite the poem along as best as you can. Ask your SpanishPod101 teacher to help you understand exactly what you are singing or saying, and soon you’ll have reciting the alphabet under your belt! Repeat it out loud as often as possible.
However, you still need to learn how to write it.
② Study a Few Letters At a Time
Remember when you were young and learning to write for the first time? You didn’t start with words or sentences; you started with letters, one at a time!
Decide on tackling only a few letters each week, and then don’t move on from these till you are completely familiar with them. Don’t take on too many at once, or you may become discouraged. Also, remember to ask your teacher at SpanishPod101 if you have questions!
Learn to incidentally spot the letters in books, road signs (If you’re living in the country), magazines, on TV, anywhere you encounter written Spanish. Remember to write them out!
③ Write Out the Letters of the Alphabet By Hand
Make it a goal to write out your week’s letters at least once a day, and commit to this goal. You can also do it every time you have a free moment. Get yourself a special notebook for this purpose that you can carry with you anywhere you go. Sitting on the train or bus? Waiting for someone somewhere? Whip out your notebook and write the Spanish alphabet, or the letters you are learning. Aim for about 20 repetitions, while silently saying the letter in your head as you write it out. This way, you will soon be able to form and write words all by yourself! Exciting, isn’t it?
Writing something down with a pen also seems to engrave it in the brain in a way that nothing else does. As an added benefit, it gives you the satisfaction of seeing a new language in your own writing!
Once you’ve mastered the whole alphabet, commit to writing it out in its entirety at least once a day, for at least one month. More repetitions are obviously better.
④ Involve Your Whole Body
Research has shown that the more senses and actions we use to learn something, the quicker the new information sticks in the memory and becomes habitual. To apply this principle while learning the Spanish alphabet, write out huge letters by tracing them in the soil, or with chalk on the floor. Now, while saying the letter out loud, walk on the lines you have just traced. In this way, you ‘write’ the letter by moving your whole body!
Having fun just makes it even easier to learn something, so why not ‘write’ the letters out with dance steps while moving to your favorite Spanish music!
This is a simple trick that seems silly, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you will commit intricate letters to memory this way. It really works!
⑤ Use Associations To Memorize Letters
This technique would involve saying the Spanish letter out loud, and then thinking of a word in your own language that sounds the same as the letter. That would then create a phonic association that should make it easier for you to remember the letter. Better even if the association is something you can draw or picture.
If the script of the new alphabet is very different from your own, look at it closely, and see if you can find an image that the letter reminds you of
⑥ Now Have Fun Trying To Write Words!
Try to write words from your own language in Spanish, and ask your friendly SpanishPod101 teachers for feedback! Or post them on the forum and see if anyone can read them. You will be so pleased with yourself when you start writing words that are readable and recognizable by native speakers.
Do you know how to say hello in Spanish? It’s the most basic phrase that you’ll need to say and hear in everyday life. If you don’t know yet, learn 15 ways to say hello and greet others in Spanish. Why 15? The more variations you know, the more you can speak and the more fluent you become!
Learn to Say Hello
Can you introduce yourself in Spanish? Don’t worry! Check out the 10 Spanish Lines You Need To Introduce Yourself with this free Review Sheet. From “My name is…“ and “I live in…” down to “My hobbies are…” Just review the 10 lines. It will only take you 2 minutes. Then, introduce yourself in the comment section below!
Check It Out
How good is your Spanish? Care to put it to the test? Here’s the deal! We’ve come up with this must-know Spanish Phrases List. Learn the top 25 Spanish phrases, hear the native pronunciation and put your Spanish to the test. Did you know them all? If not, review the list and master these easy phrases!
Go to the Phrase List
Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Spanish. It’s one of the most important Spanish phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.
Check Out the Post
- Loecsen. Loecsen's free Spanish course online is ideal for beginners. ...
- Learn Practical Spanish Online. Learn Practical Spanish Online is an interactive program with classes based on your skill level. ...
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The official Spanish alphabet: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.How can I practice Spanish by myself? ›
- Watch TV Shows and Movies in Spanish. It's time to indulge yourself and watch all of your favorite Spanish TV shows and movies! ...
- Learn Spanish Tongue Twisters. ...
- Label Everything In Your House. ...
- Use Language Apps. ...
- Listen to Music in Spanish. ...
- Get a Tutor. ...
- Play Games.
The best app to learn Spanish for free is Duolingo. Other apps offer free content, but Duolingo offers its entire Spanish course for free. You learn all the main communication skills as well as vocabulary and basic grammar. While it's the best free app, Duolingo does have its limitations.What's the easiest way to learn Spanish quickly? ›
- Download an app on your phone. ...
- Subscribe to a Spanish-language podcast. ...
- Watch the news in Spanish. ...
- Start a conversation club. ...
- Carry a Spanish-English dictionary with you… ...
- Sign up for a language class. ...
- Spend time in a Spanish-speaking country.
Duolingo Spanish: 38.5 million users mean that Duolingo is one of the most popular online Spanish language courses around. And it's completely free.What 3 letters were removed from the Spanish language? ›
In 2010, the Royal Spanish Academy (Real Academia Española) officially removed the letters ch and ll from the Spanish alphabet. The current alphabet has 27 letters.Is there ABCD in Spanish? ›
The Spanish alphabet is called “abecedario” or “alfabeto”. It consists of 27 letters (22 consonants and 5 vowels). We need to learn it, as it is the basis of the whole language and it will help you when it comes to understand its speakers and with your pronunciation.What is the LL called in Spanish? ›
Pronunciation 1: LL Sounds Like The English Letter 'Y'
Simply magine replacing any ll with a 'y' and that's it! For example, you would pronounce lluvia (rain) as “yuvia” or se llama as “se yama”. Here are some other common ll words and their pronunciations: llave (key) – yave.
Aim to spend at least an hour a day practicing basic conversation skills. Once you've reached a intermediate level, you can start studying grammar and vocabulary for two or three hours a day. If you're already proficient in Spanish and just want to keep your skills sharp, an hour of practice each day should suffice.
The more time you dedicate to studying and practicing Spanish each day, the faster you will get through those learning hours. If you're wondering how much time I think you should spend learning Spanish, I suggest you set aside at least 60-90 minutes each day for dedicated Spanish learning.How fast can you become fluent in Spanish? ›
Based on US Foreign Service Institute (FSI) research, if you start out as a beginner and spend an average of one hour per day working actively on Spanish—such as with a teacher or conversation partner, as well as doing homework—then it can take 480 hours to reach conversational fluency.Can I learn Spanish in 3 months? ›
It is possible to learn Spanish in 3 months, but it is true that to fully master the language to a native level, you will need more time. An intensive Spanish course covering all levels (from A1 to C2) consists of 62 weeks (about 15 months in total).What should I learn first in Spanish? ›
Although there is no set order to learning a language, it does make sense to learn verb conjugations as a priority. These help you to communicate quickly, and give you the tools to create phrases of your own. The good news is that if you are learning phrases, you will have already met many of the verb conjugations.What is truly the best way to learn Spanish? ›
Immersion. Immersion is hands down the best way to learn Spanish. It is the fastest and most effective way to become fluent. If you have the opportunity to learn Spanish while living or traveling to a Spanish speaking country, do it!What is the best website to learn Spanish? ›
- Rosetta Stone (top pick)
- Rocket Languages.
- Fluent Forever.
Level A1. The person learns to understand and use frequently used everyday expressions. Can give basic personal information. To learn this level you need between 4 and 8 weeks of an intensive course.How long will it take the average person to learn Spanish? ›
The bottom line
If you start out as a beginner and spend an average of 1 hour per day working on your Spanish, you should able to reach conversational fluency within 8 – 12 months. That translates to roughly 250 – 350 hours of time spent.
Fun Fact: The letter "w" is the least used letter in Spanish. So how many letters are there? Officially there are 27, but you may find answers anywhere between 25 ("ñ," but no "k" or "w") and 30 (the 26 you're used to plus "ch," "ll," "ñ," and "rr.") Just to cover all the bases let's work with a 30-letter alphabet.What letter is never pronounced in Spanish? ›
The first silent letter in Spanish is the letter H. This letter is always silent unless it is next to the letter C. When you see the letter C next to an H you need to make a ch sound. This sound is almost identical to the 'ch' sound in English.
- Breeze. Spanish word: Brisa. ...
- Ranch. Spanish word: Rancho. ...
- Guerrilla. Spanish word: Guerrilla. ...
- Patio. Spanish word: Patio. ...
- Stampede. Spanish word: Estampida. ...
- Macho. Spanish word: Macho. ...
- Cockroach. Spanish word: Cucaracha. ...
- Avocado. Spanish word: Aguacate.
The Problem of Homophones
Although the Latin b and v were pronounced differently, they gradually merged in Spanish. As a result, some words are spelled differently but have the same pronunciation.
First, because these two letters have the same sound in Spanish. Second, because depending on their position in a word, this sound may change. Mastering the usage of b and v in Spanish will get you closer to the native pronunciation.Do all Spanish speakers pronounce v as b? ›
B and V do have the same sound in Spanish. But what you might not realise is that there are actually two different sounds Spanish speakers make when they pronounce a B or V depending on the word and context.Which letter is always silent in Spanish? ›
The Spanish letter h is always silent and is generally at the beginning of the word if used at all. There really is no way to predict when a word will begin with a silent h, so be sure to focus on the spelling of words that you learn beginning with an h.Why do Spaniards say th instead of s? ›
The story goes like this: a medieval king of Spain spoke with a lisp. Wanting to imitate royalty, courtiers picked it up. The resulting th sound wormed its way into the Spanish language.Why is the H in Spanish silent? ›
If the h is silent, why does it exist? For reasons of etymology (word history) only. Just as the "k" in the English "know" and the "b" in "lamb" used to be audible, the Spanish h used to be pronounced ages ago. Almost all Spanish consonants have become softer over the years; the h became so soft as to become inaudible.Is Duolingo enough to learn Spanish? ›
After using the Duolingo app and thoroughly testing this program out, our team's consensus is that Duolingo isn't great for learning Spanish. Duolingo has some serious limitations, and we see it more as an e-learning tool or supplement than a comprehensive program if you want to truly learn Spanish.How many words do you need to know to be fluent in Spanish? ›
If you think about native-level fluency, you'll need to master between 20,000 and 40,000 words, and as you can see the margin is quite large. If you want to have a basic conversation, experts say that you'll just need around 3,000 words.Can you learn Spanish by listening to it everyday? ›
When learning a new language, the fastest and most effective way to absorb new material is by actively listening. You'll be able to engage with what you're hearing on a deeper level, even if you don't understand what's being said.
If you can manage to combine being surrounded by native Spanish speakers and by the Spanish language itself, you will be able to become fluent in 6 months (given that you will put efforts into study).What is the hardest language to learn? ›
Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center puts Mandarin in Category IV, which is the list of the most difficult languages to learn for English speakers.Can I become fluent in Spanish in a year? ›
Your deadline will depend on how much time you can put aside to study each day. If you're starting from scratch, you could reach this level of fluency in 1 year by studying for 2 – 3 hours per day. If you're already at an intermediate level, you could get there in about 6 months.What's the easiest language to learn? ›
- Frisian. Frisian is thought to be one of the languages most closely related to English, and therefore also the easiest for English-speakers to pick up. ...
- Dutch. ...
- Norwegian. ...
- Spanish. ...
- Portuguese. ...
- Italian. ...
- French. ...
- Mandarin (1,117 million speakers)
- Hindi (615 million speakers)
- Spanish (534 million speakers)
- French (280 million speakers)
- Arabic (274 million speakers)
- Russian (258 million speakers)
- Portuguese (234 million speakers)
- Indonesian (198 million speakers)
Can you learn Spanish while sleeping? Remember that sleep learning is a passive learning process, so it will only work for simple memorization processes like vocabulary or pronunciation. Thus, you can't learn any grammar, fluency, slang, composition, etc., using this method.How fast can I learn Spanish on my own? ›
The bottom line
If you start out as a beginner and spend an average of 1 hour per day working on your Spanish, you should able to reach conversational fluency within 8 – 12 months. That translates to roughly 250 – 350 hours of time spent.
- Create Lots of Conjugation Charts. ...
- Write Short Paragraphs with All the Conjugation Forms. ...
- Record Yourself Conjugating Verbs. ...
- Write Your Own Conjugation Song. ...
- Sing Someone Else's Conjugation Song. ...
- Practice Conjugation with a Fluent Spanish Speaker. ...
- Read Plenty of Spanish Books.
- Improve your Spanish vocabulary with light reading. ...
- Study cognates. ...
- Learn 2 Spanish verbs every day. ...
- Try learning 1 Spanish expression every other day (or class). ...
- Memorize Spanish words by using them actively.
Frankly, each scenario presented requires a different level of Spanish. According to best-selling author and podcaster, Tim Ferris, “To understand 95% of a language and become conversationally fluent may require months of applied learning; to reach the 98% threshold could require 10 years.”
It is possible to learn Spanish in 3 months, but it is true that to fully master the language to a native level, you will need more time. An intensive Spanish course covering all levels (from A1 to C2) consists of 62 weeks (about 15 months in total).What are the 10 tips for learning Spanish? ›
- Don't expect to be perfect! Can you remember when learned to ride a bicycle? ...
- Work on developing an “ear” for Spanish. Remember that language is first and foremost oral communication. ...
- Practice SPEAKING! ...
- Be consistent. ...
- Talk to yourself. ...
- Use flashcards. ...
- Label your surroundings. ...
- Be patient.
If you can manage to combine being surrounded by native Spanish speakers and by the Spanish language itself, you will be able to become fluent in 6 months (given that you will put efforts into study).How do you become fluent in 30 days in Spanish? ›
- Contents. Turn Your Life into a Spanish Crash Course. ...
- Turn Your Life into a Spanish Crash Course. ...
- Immerse Your World in Spanish. ...
- Use FluentU. ...
- Get a Personal Tutor. ...
- Study, Study, Study. ...
- Label Everything You Touch. ...
- Don't Use Any English.