2. Letter C

bar

In the previous lesson we have studied the spanish alphabet, but we have missed some letters that requires bigger explanation. One of these ones is the letter "c" that changes the pronunciation depending on the following vowel. There are 2 different cases, let's see them

Letter "c" followed by "a", "o" or "u"

If is followed by "a", "o" or "u", it is pronounced like the "c" in car, here you can see the examples:

Sound
Ejemplo
Example
ca
la casa, la marca
the house, the mark
co
el coche, el barco
the car, the ship
cu
el cuchillo, el mercurio
the knife, the mercury

Letter "c" followed by "e" or "i"

If it is followed by "e" or "i", it is pronounced totally different. This sound can be a little bit complicate for people who tries to learn spanish. Just try to put the tip of your tongue between the teeth, the closest sound in english can be "th". Listen and repeat:

Sound
Ejemplo
Example
ce
la cena, Barcelona
the dinner, Barcelona
ci
el cine, Valencia
the cinema, Valencia

More complex examples

We have seen both types of pronunciation in the previous examples, now let's try with harder ones, mixing between them and also with "s".

Ejemplo
Example
el cenicero
the ashtray
el carnicero
the butcher
la secesión
the secession
Sicilia
Sicily

Double "c"

Some words have double "c", in these cases the first one is pronounce as "casa" and the second one as "cine".

Ejemplo
Example
la acción
the action
el accidente
the accident
la extracción
the extraction
la sección
the section

Note: Big percentage of words that double the "c" finish in "-cción".

"ch"

It was consider a letter till 2010, now is considered as 2 letters joined to make 1 sound. The pronunciation is the same than "check" in english.

Ejemplo
Example
la leche
the milk
el chiste
the joke
la chica
the girl

 

garage = garaje

teacher = profesor