Letters with special behaviors

C, Q, Z and S

C sounds /k/ with A, O and U, and /θ/ or /s/ with E and I.

♦ We use Qu to obtain the sound /k/ with E and I.

♦ The sound /θ/ is used only in Spain. In the rest of the world za, ce, ci, zo, zu would be pronounced /sa, se, si, so, su/. In Spain, it would be pronounced /θa, θe, θi, θo, θu/.

Note: In Spanish, we can never use z with vowels e and i.

⇒ Some words to pronounce: Queso, cuco, zapato, cereza, zueco, caza, casa*.

* Translation: Cheese, cuckoo, shoe, cherry, clog, hunting, house.

J and G

J sounds /x/ with all vowels, G sounds /g/ with A, O and U and /x/ with E and I.

We place a U after the G to obtain the sound /g/ with E and I.

⇒ Some words to pronounce: Jarabe, jefe, gerente, gato, gente, ginebra, guerra, guitarra, jilguero*.

* Translation: Syrup, boss, manager, cat, people, gin, war, guitar, goldfinch.

Note: Whenever we need the “u” between “g” and “e” or between “g” and “i” to be pronounced, we need to add a diéresis on top of it: pingüino, lingüística, etc.

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