Pronouncing The Spanish G

PRONOUNCING THE SPANISH G

The letter “G” has basically two different ways to be pronounced in Spanish :

  1. The “hard” pronunciation takes place when the letter is preceding the vowels “a”, “o” and “u”, as well as any consonant. In these cases, its sound is similar to its English counterpart. Examples :

    manga (sleeve)      –> similar to the “G” sound in the English word –> garden
    Agosto (August)   –> similar to the “G” sound in the English word –> God
    gustar (to like)      –> similar to the “G” sound in the English word –> good
    grieta (crack)        –> similar to the “G” sound in the English word –> regret
    ingle (groin)          –> similar to the “G” sound in the English word –> glen
    ignoto (unknown)  –> similar to the “G” sound in the English word –> ignorant
  2. The soft pronunciation is applied in all the cases when the letter “G” is placed before the vowels “e” and “i”; it requires some practice for English speakers, since it has no exact equivalent in their native tongue (although it is, indeed, somewhat similar to the “H” sound in it). Examples :

    generar (to generate) –> similar to the “H” sound in the English word –> head
    gitano (gipsy)            –> similar to the “H” sound in the English word –> hidden

    It is to be noted that, whenever a letter “u” comes in between “G” and one the aforementioned letters (“e” and “i”), the pronunciation of these becomes rather “hard”. For example:

    guerra (war)      –> similar to the “G” sound in the English word –> gain
    guiar (to guide) –> similar to the “G” sound in the English word –> geek

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