Lesson 1


CLASE 1. Phonetics. Introduction Fonética. Introducción. Gramática

Spanish Vowels

There are only five vowels in Spanish: a, e, i, o, u. They are the basis of the language, therefore they should be pronounced perfectly clear and never squashed.

These sounds are pronounced absolutely the same in any position, either stressed or not. They are never altered while speaking, compare English and Spanish

ENGLISH: Oda [ouda]
SPANISH: Oda [oda]
  • 1. Listen and repeat:
  • A
    E
    I
    O
    U

    Murciélago


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  • 2. Sing the following vowels as a song. Try to open your mouth wide as if singing an opera:
  • A E I O U
    E I A U O
    A I O U E
    O E A U I


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  • 3. Read the following words so that both vowels sound absolutely the same. First, read only vowels, then the word with consonants:
  • ÁA – Ana. Ada. Ama. AAÁ – Canadá. AÁA – Palabra. Patata. ÁAA – Bárbara.

    ÉE – Eme. Tele. Mete. EÉA – Elena. EÉE – Pelele. Desee. ÉEE – Léeme.

    ÍI – Iris. Friki. Mili. IÍ – Pipí. ÉI – Peli. IÍI – Bikini.

    OO – Ojo. ÓOO – Cómodo. OÓO – Toronto. Coloso. OOÓ – Colocó. OOÓO – Oloroso.

    UU – Cucu. Humus.


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    Spanish vowels change the meaning of the words

    Vowels in Spanish have a lot of meanings. They differentiate the gender of nouns and adjectives: the ending –o stands for the masculine gender, and the ending –a, the feminine gender:

    Alberto (a boy) – Alberta (a girl)
    amigo
    (msculine friend) – amiga (femenine friend)
    hermano
    (a brother) – hermana (a sister)
    blanco
    (something white in masculine) – blanca (something white in femenine)

    Unclear pronunciation of an ending can change a man into a woman.

    The ending –o in the verbs in the present tense indicates the first person (“I”), and the endings –a, –e, the third person (“he or she”):

    canto (I sing) – canta (She or he sings)
    vivo
    (I live) – vive (She or he lives)

    Therefore, before reading texts and dialogues, underline all the vowels and pay a lot of attention to the ending. It should sound perfectly clear.

  • 4. Listen and repeat the masculine and feminine word pairs:
  • Alberto – Alberta, Lolo – Lola, Antonio – Antonia, amigo – amiga, hermano – hermana, blanco – blanca


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  • 5. Listen and repeat the verb pairs:
  • hablo – habla
    como – come
    tomo – toma
    vivo – vive


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  • 6. Listen and write the missing vowel:
  • pel

    Chil

    Pil

    húmdo

    fnción

    viv

    Alejandr

    mrece

    mpoluto

    habl

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    [m], [n], [l] and [p] sounds

    In Spanish, there are no aspirated, rounded or nasal consonants. In this respect, the Spanish consonants are similar to the Italian ones and are totally different from the English ones. While pronouncing these sounds, try not to move your tongue back and forth, avoid aspiration or nasal sounding.

    The sound [m] is similar to the English [m]. It is represented by the letter M (eme).

    The sound [p] is similar to the English [p], though it is not aspired. It is represented by the letter P (pe).

    The sound [n] is represented by the letter N (ene). It is also similar to the English sound.

    The sound [l] is represented by the letter L (ele). It is similar to the English sound, though it sound a slightly more forced: the tongue is placed against the roof of the mouth.

    El and la are the definite articles of the masculine and feminine genders.

  • 7. Listen and write the missing vowel:
  • Mamá. Mi mamá. Mi mamá me mima.

    Papá. Mi papá. Pepe. Pepa.

    No. No, no, no. Nunca. Nene, nena. No mola.

    Mapa, mano, mono, mona, pino, anónimo.


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  • 8. Listen and repeat:
  • Lola. Lulú. Lila, línea. Óleo. Malo, mala. Mola.

    El limón, la lima, el melón, la mano, el malo, la mala, el pelo, la pala.


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    [k] sound

    The sound [k] is not aspired. This sound is represented in three different ways:

    Before e, i by the letter combination qu (ku u): que, qui

    Before a, o, u and at the end of the word by the letter c (ce): ca, co, cu, tic-tac

    In the following words by the letter k (ka): kilo, kilómetro, kéfir, kiosko, friki

    Learn the word que, which means “what” or “which”.

  • 9. Read the words with the sound [k], paying attention to the correct pronunciation of the vowels:
  • Coca-Cola. Cola-Cao.

    Coco, como, cono. Colón. Cuco, culo, cupo.


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  • 10. Fill in the missing consonant representing the sound [k]:
  • loo

    pore

    bara

    poo

    poito

    eso

    aí

    ilo

    busé

    ímia

    one

    ioso

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    [ʧ], [f] and [s] sounds

    The letter H (hache, [`ache]) is never pronounced. It helps to distinguish between the words with the similar pronunciation, such as:

    hola [`ola] – hellow
    ola [`ola] – wave

    The combination СH (ce hache) is pronounced like the English [ʧ] in chair.

    The sound [f], similar to the English ph, is represented by the letter F (efe). Remember, there is no combination ph in Spanish:

    Filosofía = Phylosophy

    The sound [s] in Spain is pronounced between the English “s” and “sh”: the tip of the tongue is placed not on the the tooth ridge, but on the hard palate. This sound is represented by the letter S (ese), which is not voiced between two vowels, so there is no double ss in Spanish!!!

    CORRECT: profesor
    INCORRECT: professor

    In Latin America, this sound is pronounced like the English “с” in cinema.

  • 11. Read the following words. Which vowels are stressed? Remember that H is mute:
  • Hotel. Hostal. Hospital.

    Hispano. Historia.

    ¡Hola!


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  • 12. Listen and repeat:
  • Chico, chica. Coche. Chicago.
    Leche, hache, mucho, pecho. Nacho.

    Feo, fea. Foto, forma.
    Profesor, perfecto, café. Filadelfia.


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  • 13. Escucha y repite:
  • Solo, sola. Sí. Sí sí sí.

    Casa, cosa. Eso, ese, esa. Esos, esas. Los osos, las osas.

    Esta es mi casa. – This is my house.

    ¿Estás solo? – Are you alone?

    ¿Qué pasa? – What’s wrong?


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    Y and Ll

    A separate letter Y (i griega) represents the sound [i] and is translated as the English «and»:

    Mamá y papá – Mum and dad

    In other positions, the letter Y is pronounced as the English semivowel [y], though more stressed, like [j] in Jim:

    Nueva York = New York

     The double Ll (ele doble) is pronounced the same way:

    Me llamo Yolanda [me yamo yolanda] – My name is Yolanda

    If you want no know if a word is written with Y or with Ll, you must consult a dictionary.

  • 14. Listen and repeat the following words and sentences:
  • ¡Ay! ¡Uy! ¡Ya! Yo.

    Muy. Yoyó.

    Llamo, lloro. Pollo, malla, silla.

    Me llamo Ana – My name es Anna

    Soy yo – It`s me

    Ya voy – I`m going

    Tú sí, y yo, no – You`ll do it, and I will not

    Soy muy alto – I am very tall


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    Repaso

  • 15. What are the names of these letters?
  • ef
    ene
    i griega
    efe
    elle
    eme
    ce
    ka
    ci

    epe
    pe
    em
    hache
    ele doble
    yota

    F  

    Y  

    Ll  

    H  

    M  

    P  

    N  

    С  

    K  

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  • 16. Write the word you hear:
  • 1:

    2:

    3:

    4:

    5:

    6:

    7:

    8:

    9:

    10:

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  • 17. Complete the following sentences:
  • Me Elena.

    yo.

    ¿ pasa?

    Es de mi .

    es americano.

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