Alphabet

From Tomísimo
Jump to: navigation, search

The Spanish alphabet closely resembles the English alphabet, and both are based on the Latin alphabet. According to the Real Academia Española, the organization that officially governs the Spanish language, there are 28 letters: a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, ll, m, n, ñ, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, and z. They are alphabetized as in English, with the addition of the ñ, which comes after the n.

Alphabetization

In Spanish, the ch and the ll are considered letters in their own right, representing one distinct sound in the language, and are included for example when reciting the alphabet. The ch and the ll are however alphabetized as if they were the single letters c, h, and l. For example:

cerro
chocolate
ciego
...
literatura
llanto
lobo

Formerly, all words beginning with ch were alphabetized after all the words beginning with c, and words beginning with ll were alphabetized after all the words beginning with l.

Controversy

There is some disagreement as to the letters of the Spanish alphabet. There are grammar books which do not include the k and w in the Spanish alphabet, since they are only used in words of foreign origin, such as foreign names and loanwords. There are also some books that include the double r (rr or erre) as a separate letter, since it is pronounced differently.

You should also note that the letters b and v are pronounced exactly the same.

Finally, all letters of the alphabet are feminine, such that you would say la d (de), la x (equis) etc. To avoid confusion, the words vowel and consonant (vocal y consonante), which also refer to letters are also feminine: la vocal, la consonante. You may use consonante as a masculine noun when referring to a rhyming word: el consonante - a word that rhymes.

Pronunciation

Main article: Pronunciation

Pronunciation can be determined entirely from spelling, except for a few placenames in Mexico. An acute accent mark (´) is necessary over some vowels, and the diaeresis is used in some cases over the u.

The letters and their names

LetterLetter Name
aa
bbe, be grande, be de Barcelona, be de burro
cce
chche
dde
ee
fefe
gge
hhache
ii, i latina
jjota
kka
lele
llelle
meme
nene
ñeñe
oo
ppe
qcu
rere
sese
tte
uu
vve, uve, ve chica, ve de Varcelona, ve de vaca
wdoble u, uve doble
xequis
yi/y griega, ye
zzeta