///Voiceless Stops in Spanish


A.    /p/ in Spanish

It was mentioned that in English there are at least two conspicuously different kinds of p-sound: the p of pin, pill, which has the puff of air called aspiration, and the p of spin, spill, which has no aspiration.

The Spanish /p/ is always produced without aspiration. One way for an English speaker to get at the mastery of it is by thinking of an s before Spanish words that begin with /p/ in order to transfer the English pattern of producing unaspirated p after s.

The following list will give you a basis for comparing the p-sound in the two languages and learning to reproduce the difference.


   Exercise on Spanish /p/

Listen, Read & Repeat




B.    /t/ in Spanish


The /t/ problem is like the /p/ problem: in English it is aspirated, in Spanish it is not. In addition, the tongue touches a point that is more forward in the mouth to produce a Spanish / t / : it literally touches the backside of the upper teeth, which it not do in English.


   Exercise on Spanish /t/

Listen, Read & Repeat




C.    /k/ in Spanish


If you have mastered /p/ and /t/, /k/ will be a breeze since it involves again the aspiration problem.


   Exercise on Spanish /k/

Listen, Read & Repeat



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