How to pronounce the letter P in Spanish?

The letter P is one of the easiest. It’s always pronounced the same way, [p], that it’s different from the P in pin or pool.

One of sounds which babies learn first is the sound of letter P, when parents tell them: «Di papá. Paaapá».

However, quite many English natives pronounce it as they’d normally do in English. Sometimes they guess right.

Sometimes they don’t.

For example, in English, the letter P in pin and the letter P in spin sound different. In Spanish, letter P always sound the same way.

Its pronunciation is quite simple and saying it correctly will reduce your foreign accent.

How to pronounce Spanish P

  • IPA symbol: [p].

Easy, right?

Tips to pronounce Spanish P

  • Spanish P sounds similar to English B. Sometimes it may cause misunderstandings .
  • It doesn’t have the puff of air which characterizes the English P, like in the word penguin. If you pronounce it this way, natives will immediately know you’re a guiri.
  • It sounds like the letter P in Spanish, spoon or spring.

Examples of words with the letter P in Spanish

piedra, poder, pronunciación,
espárrago, aparcar, espera.

Pepe, ¿me pasas la pimienta?
¿Puedes venir, por favor?
Me apetecen pepinillos.

Common misunderstandings with Spanish P

When a Spaniard speaks in Spanish and say a word which starts with the letter P (peso, polo, pisado, pino), English natives might think we are saying a word which starts with the sound [b].

And the other way around.

This is because Spanish P sounds closer to English B.
Here you can find how to pronounce letters B and V in Spanish, and more common misunderstandings.

A Spaniard sais/understands…An English native understands/sais…
PesoBeso
PoloBolo
PisadoVisado
PinoVino
A Spaniard sais/understands…An English native understands/sais…
PillBill
PetBet
PenBen
PitchBitch

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