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Top Verbs for Cooking in Spanish

Do you know how to read una receta (a recipe) in Spanish and/or talk about the various actions one must perform to prepare una comida (a meal)? In order to help you do so, we've taken fifty of the most popular cooking verbs in English, then given you the equivalent Spanish term(s) for each, along with lots of examples from our Yabla Spanish library. Let's get started! 


Top 50 Cooking Verbs With Spanish Translations 


1. Add: agregar, añadir, poner, colocar, 

When talking about "adding" in an ingredient, there are various choices! While the first two mean "to add," the second two literally mean "to put" or "place" but are frequently seen in recipes to describe the same action:


Una vez sudado los ingredientes, le colocamos: salsa inglesa,

Once the ingredients are stewed, we add in: Worcestershire sauce,

Captions 50-51, Recetas de cocina Pabellón criollo

 Play Caption


2. Beat: batir


El siguiente paso es batir ocho o nueve huevos.

The next step is to beat eight or nine eggs.

Captions 37-38, Clara cocina Una tortilla española

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3. Break: romper

And speaking of eggs, you have "to break" or "crack" them, which is described with the Spanish verb romper (to break):


Rompe los huevos contra una superficie plana.

Break the eggs on a flat surface.


4. Boil: hervir


Ahora llena una cazuela de agua y luego ponla a hervir

Now, fill a pot with water, and then, bring it to a boil.

Captions 37-38, El Aula Azul Receta de garbanzos

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5. Blend: mezclar, incorporar, juntar, combinar, licuar, batir 

There are many ways to describe the action of "blending" in Spanish. While the first four options we have listed are more likely to refer to simply "mixing thoroughly," batir and licuar tend to describe more vigorous actions and perhaps even some instrument like a una/a batidor/a (whisk) or licuadora (blender).


Todo esto vamos a llevar a licuar, a dar vueltas

All of this, we're going to blend, to spin around,

Caption 29, Mónica Batido

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6. Bake: hornear


se hornea 

and you bake it

Caption 78, Viajando con Fermín Restaurante La Viña - Part 2

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7. Barbecue: asar, hacer a la parrilla, hacer a la barbacoa


y vamos a asar dos tiempos la parte de la grasa

and we're going to barbecue the part with the fat two times

Caption 49, Osos en la cocina Carne asada

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8. Cut: cortar


Vamos a cortar en pedazos pequeños también la lechuga,

Let's also cut the lettuce into small pieces,

Caption 16, Ana Carolina Receta para una picada

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9. Cover: cubrir

The verb cubrir might refer to covering something with una tapa (a cover/lid) or something else, like water:


Vamos a cubrirlo y vamos a subirle el fuego.

We're going to cover it, and we're going to increase the heat.

Caption 37, Cocinando con Miguelito Pollo sudado - Part 2

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10. Cook: cocinar, cocer


La papa es fácil de cocinar

Potatoes are easy to cook,

Caption 14, Cocinando con Miguelito Pollo sudado - Part 3

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11. Cool: enfríar


Luego, pones el papel encerado por encima y dejas que enfríe.

Then, you put the wax paper on top and you let it cool.

Captions 26-27, Manos a la obra Postres de Minecraft

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12. Chop: picar, trocear


Picamos todo; todo se tiene que picar muy, muy pequeño. 

We chop everything; everything has to be chopped very, very small.

Caption 13, Cleer y Lida Ají

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13. Dice: cortar en dados, trocear

The Spanish word dados literally means "dice," as in the dice you play games with. Cortar en dados (literally "to cut in dice") is thus one of the ways to talk about the "dicing" action in Spanish:


Cortarlo en dados y freírlos hasta dorar.

Dice it, and fry them until browned.

Caption 50, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 5

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14. Drain: escurrir, colar

Although the verbs escurrir and colar can both mean "to drain," as in simply getting rid of excess liquid, they can also mean "to strain," as in running something through a colador (colander, sieve, etc.) to separate the solid from the liquid:


Ahora cuela los garbanzos con un colador. Escúrrelos bien.

Now, strain the chickpeas with a strainer. Drain them well.

Captions 40-41, El Aula Azul Receta de garbanzos

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15. Fry: freír


En la sartén, un poco de aceite y fríes la mezcla.

In the frying pan, a little bit of oil, and you fry the mixture.

Caption 35, El Aula Azul Adivinanzas de comidas - Part 1

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16. Flip: voltear, dar la vuelta 


la volteamos y hacemos lo mismo y podemos ir volteándola hasta que esté totalmente cocinada.

we flip it, and we do the same thing, and we can keep flipping it until it's totally cooked.

Captions 34-35, Dany Arepas - Part 2

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17. Grind: moler, triturar

Note that these words can also be used as equivalents of the English "to crush."


y después de eso procederemos a molerla.

and after that we will proceed to grind it.

Caption 51, Una Historia de Café La Tostión

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18. Grate: rallar


¿Qué, sos un queso pa' que te ralle?

What, are you some cheese for me to grate?

Caption 70, Muñeca Brava 39 Verdades - Part 10

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19. Grill: cocinar/asar a la parrilla, cocinar a la brasa/asar a la brasa

You might have noticed that the terms for "to grill" and "to barbecue" in Spanish are similar, and people often confuse these actions ("barbecuing" tends to describe cooking something for longer over a lower heat, and perhaps on an actual "barbecue"). Most of the time, context should let you know which meaning is intended. 


Ahora vamos a asar las arepas.

Now we are going to grill the arepas.

Caption 31, Recetas de cocina Arepas colombianas

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20. Heat: calentar


Lo ponemos en la estufa... y lo vamos a calentar a un fuego medio o bajo.

We put it on the stove... and we're going to heat it over medium or low heat.

Caption 18, Cocinando con Miguelito Pollo sudado - Part 1

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21. Knead: amasar


Entonces, tenemos que amasarla bien.

Then, we have to knead it well.

Caption 66, Recetas de cocina Carimañolas

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22. Light: encender 


es que, si cada persona en el cuarto enciende un fósforo al mismo tiempo,

is that, if every person in the room lights a match at the same time,

Captions 52-53, Eljuri Hablamos Con La Artista Sobre Su Nuevo Álbum

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Similarly, the verb encender can also mean "to turn on."


23. Measure: medir


¿Y medís la grasa que tiene,

And you measure the fat that it has,

Caption 17, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 14

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24. Mix: mezclar, batir, incorporar


eh, que sea grande y espacioso para poder mezclar.

um, which is large and spacious to be able to mix.

Caption 25, Dany Arepas - Part 1

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25. Microwave: cocinar en microondas


Ahora voy a cocinar en microondas las palomitas.

Now, I'm going to microwave the popcorn.


26. Mash: hacer puré de algo 

"Haz puré con un aplastador de papas" means "Mash with a potato masher." Now, let's look at a clip that describes the result of this action!


Ella va a hacer un puré de papa y yo voy a hacer la pechuga.

She is going to make some mashed potatoes, and I am going to make the chicken breast.

Caption 27, Misión Chef 2 - Pruebas - Part 7

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27. Melt: derretir 


Derrítalo en agua caliente. Eh... derretirlo... eh...

Melt it in hot water. Um... melt it... um...

Captions 29-30, Extr@: Extra en español Ep. 5: Ha nacido una estrella - Part 7

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28. Mince: moler, picar 


Lo vamos a picar como en una crema.

We're going to mince it like in a cream.

Caption 77, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 2

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29. Marinate: marinar, adobar


Lo dejamos marinar una hora en el refrigerador

We let it marinate for one hour in the refrigerator

Caption 9, Osos en la cocina Pollo asiático

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30. Peel: pelar


El primer paso es pelar las patatas,

The first step is to peel the potatoes,

Caption 23, Clara cocina Una tortilla española

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31. Pour: verter algo en, volcar algo en, poner algo en 


y vierte un poco de aceite.

and pour in a bit of oil.

Caption 55, El Aula Azul Receta de garbanzos

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32. Roast: asar, rostizar, tostar

Take note that in addition to "grill" and "barbecue," the Spanish verb asar can also mean "to roast," or "cook in an oven or open fire." When talking about "roasting" coffee beans, nuts, or seeds, however, the verb tostar (literally "to toast") is commonly employed to describe the "roasting" action:


El café se tuesta entre doscientos y doscientos cincuenta grados centígrados.

Coffee is roasted at between two hundred and two hundred fifty degrees centigrade.

Caption 7, Una Historia de Café La Tostión

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33. Refrigerate: refrigerar, enfríar


Refrigera la torta por dos horas antes de servir.

Refrigerate cake for two hours prior to serving. 


34. Roll out: estirar

The verb estirar, which usually means "to stretch," can also refer to "rolling out" dough, for example, with a rolling pin:


el rulero, empezar a estirar la empanada.

the rolling pin, start to roll out the empanada.

Caption 37, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Lalo y la receta de la empanada

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35. Rinse: enjuagar, desinfectar

Although enjuagar is the most common verb meaning "to rinse," sometimes the verb desinfectar can be used when referring to "rinsing" food items.


las frutas, lo... las lavamos, las desinfectamos,

the fruit, we... we wash it, we rinse it,

Caption 15, Otavalo Mali Tea

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36. Stir: remover, revolver

Have you ever heard of "false friends," or false cognates in Spanish? While remover sounds like "to remove" and revolver resembles "to revolve," both of these verbs mean "to stir" in Spanish (the latter making a bit more sense!). Meanwhile, the false friend estirar, which looks and sounds more like "to stir," means "to stretch" (or "roll out," as we learned earlier). 


Recordad: remover bien la mezcla.

Remember: Stir the mixture well.

Caption 65, El Aula Azul Receta de natillas

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37. Scramble: revolver 

In addition to "to stir," the Spanish verb revolver can also mean "to scramble."


Revuelve los huevos en una sartén de acero inoxidable. 

Scramble the eggs in a stainless steel frying pan. 


38. Sprinkle: espolvorear, rociar


Espolvorea con azúcar y canela. 

Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. 


39. Squeeze: exprimir, sacar(le) jugo 


Exprimimos medio limón por cada trozo de carne.

We squeeze half a lemon for each piece of meat.

Caption 36, Osos en la cocina Carne asada

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40. Spread: untar


con queso y mantequilla que puedes untar sobre el pan.

with cheese and butter that you can spread on the bread.

Captions 40-41, Natalia de Ecuador Alimentos para el desayuno

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41. Steam: cocer/cocinar al vapor 


Al vapor, el brócoli conserva su textura, su sabor y sus propiedades. 

Steamed, broccoli keeps its texture, its flavor, and its properties.

Captions 58-59, Soledad Ensaladilla de brócoli

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42. Simmer: hervir a fuego lento

This Spanish verb literally means "to boil at low heat," which is what "simmering" refers to:


Hierve el guiso a fuego lento por tres a cuatro horas.

Simmer the stew for three to four hours. 


43. Slice: cortar, cortar en lonchas, cortar/picar en rebanadas


Picamos en rebanadas.

We slice [them].

Caption 15, Recetas de cocina Ensalada de pepino

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44. Sauté: saltear, sofreír


le echo... lo salteo con aceite y le echo una guindilla. 

I put it in... I sauté it with oil and I add a chili pepper to it.

Caption 27, Cómetelo Crema de brócoli - Part 3

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45. Sift: tamizar, cerner 


De un litro, hay que cogerle y cernirle

From one liter, you have to take it and sift it,

Caption 102, Comunidad Tsáchila Ayahuasca y plantas curativas

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46. Toss: mezclar, revolver, remover

Notice that the Spanish words for "tossing" a salad are not the literal translations for the word "toss" as in "throw," but rather mean "to mix" (mezclar) and "to stir" (revolver, remover). 


Verter el aderezo en la ensalada y revolver poco antes de servir.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss just before serving. 


47. Toast: tostar


La uso para tostar el pan del desayuno por las mañanas.

I use it to toast the breakfast bread in the morning.

Caption 29, Aprendiendo con Zulbany Piensa rápido

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48. Weigh: pesar


Para cada jarra de café debo pesar siempre la misma cantidad

For each mug of coffee I must always weigh out the same amount,

Captions 53-54, Una Historia de Café La Tostión

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49. Whisk: batir, usar una batidora/un batidor de varillas

The previously discussed Spanish verb batir can also be used for the action of "whisking." To be more specific, you might also mention the name of the "whisk" instrument:


Usando una batidora de varillas, bate la mezcla hasta que esté uniforme

Using a wire whisk, blend mixture until it is uniform. 


A much simpler translation with the same meaning would be simply: "Whisk mixture until uniform." 


50. Wash: lavar


Mientras lavamos el tomate y vamos preparando la ensalada,

While we wash the tomato and we're making the salad,

Caption 28, Fermín Ensalada de tomate

 Play Caption


We hope that this lesson on the top Spanish verbs for cooking has brought to light a lot of new cooking vocabulary as well as making you aware of a multitude of Yabla videos you might not have seen with a ton of scrumptious recipes to try! And if you do, we would love for you to write us with your experiences and comments!


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The Spanish Alphabet: Letters and Pronunciation

How well do you know the Spanish alphabet? Do you know how many letters are in the Spanish alphabet? What about the number of consonants and vowels that are part of it? This lesson answers these questions and provides a series of audio clips that will help you to learn the letters and improve the pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet. Let's take a look.


How to say alphabet in Spanish?

Believe it or not, there are actually two words in Spanish that we use to talk about the alphabet. While the most literal translation would be the word alfabeto, you can also use the word abecedario when referring to the Spanish alphabet. In fact, and according to the Real Academia Española (RAE), these two words are synonyms. 


How many letters are in the Spanish alphabet?

There are 27 letters in the Spanish alphabet. But do you know how many of those letters are consonants and how many vowels are in the Spanish alphabet? The answer is very simple. In the Spanish alphabet there are 22 consonants and 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u). Let’s go over all the Spanish alphabet letters with the following 27 words:


A as in agua (water)

¿También tienes agua?

Do you have water too?

Caption 35, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

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B as in burro (donkey)

El burro es un animal ideal para este tipo de actividades.

The donkey is an ideal animal for this kind of activity.

Caption 71, Rosa - Yoga con burros

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C as in coche (car)

Hoy, voy en coche porque hace mucho frío.

Today, I'm going by car because it's very cold.

Caption 16, Ariana - Cena especial

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D as in difícil (difficult)

Es muy difícil. -Muy complicado.

It's very difficult. -Very complicated.

Caption 31, Blanca y Mariona - Planificación de cena

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E as in ellos (they)

Ellos se llevan muy bien.

They get along very well.

Caption 41, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

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F as in fácil (easy)

Basta, es muy fácil.

Enough, it's very easy.

Caption 72, Español para principiantes - Los números del 1 al 100

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G as in gente (people)

Barcelona se llena de gente.

Barcelona fills up with people.

Caption 17, Blanca - Sobre la ciudad de Barcelona

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H as in hotel (hotel)

El hotel también cuenta con un bar.

The hotel also has a bar.

Caption 73, Cleer y Lida - Recepción de hotel

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I as in iglesia (church)

Esta iglesia fue construida en mil seiscientos ochenta y uno.

This church was built in sixteen eighty one.

Caption 14, Viajando con Carlos - Popayán - Colombia

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J as in jamón (ham)

Fíjate: jamón, Javier.

Check it out: ham, Javier.

Caption 27, Fundamentos del Español - 10 - La Pronunciación

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K as in kilo (kilo)

Reciclando un kilo de vidrio...

[By] recycling a kilo of glass...

Caption 70, 3R - Campaña de reciclaje - Part 1

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L as in lago (lake)

Hay un lago.

There is a lake.

Caption 11, Natalia de Ecuador - Los adverbios de orden

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M as in mercado (market)

...y están presentes en el mercado internacional.

...and are present in the international market.

Caption 73, Europa Abierta - Champagne en Andalucía

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N as in nunca (never)

Nadie, nada, nunca.

Nobody, nothing, never.

Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 5 - La Negación

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Ñ as in the middle of the word niño (boy)

La frase, el niño quiere el juguete.

The sentence, "the boy wants the toy."

Caption 17, Raquel - Diminutivos y aumentativos

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O as in objeto (object)

...y "tendedero" es un objeto para la ropa

...and "tendedero" is an object for clothes

Caption 27, Karla e Isabel - Palabras

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P as in parque (park)

Aquí en Parque Fundidora.

Here in Fundidora Park.

Caption 38, Paseando con Karen - Sitios Culturales en Parque Fundidora

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Q as in queso (cheese)

Un vaso de leche y queso.

A glass of milk and cheese.

Caption 16, Recetas de Clara - Los aborrajados

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R as in rápidamente (quickly)

Vamos a ver rápidamente una frase.

We are going to look quickly at a phrase.

Caption 2, Lecciones con Carolina - Esta noche vs anoche

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S as in sal (salt)

Muchos mercaderes venían a recoger la sal.

Many merchants came to get the salt.

Caption 14, Rosa - Fuente de Piedra

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T as in trabajo (job)

¿Qué trabajo es?

What job is it?

Caption 23, Sofy y Caro - Entrevistar para un trabajo

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U as in universidad (university)

¿La biblioteca de la universidad?

The university library?

Caption 21, Español para principiantes - Hablando de ubicaciones

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V as in viento (wind)

...y un viento muy fuerte nos arrastró a mar abierto.

...and a very strong wind dragged us out to the open sea.

Caption 21, Guillermina y Candelario - La Isla de las Serpientes

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W as in wifi (wifi)

Tenemos también wifi y hay ordenadores disponibles.

We also have wifi and there are computers available.

Caption 20, El Aula Azul - Cursos y actividades de la escuela

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X as in xilófono (xylophone)

Entonces, había una persona contando un cuento y él tocando un xilófono.

So, there was a person telling a story and he [was] playing a xylophone.

Caption 28, La Sub30 - Familias - Part 4

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Y as in yuca (yucca)

Aquí tenemos la yuca.

Here we have the yucca.

Caption 7, Recetas de cocina - Carimañolas

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Z as in zona (area)

Es la primera vez que vengo a esta zona de la ciudad.

It's the first time I've come to this area of the city.

Caption 8, Karla e Isabel - Alquilar una habitación

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Spanish alphabet pronunciation

If you want to improve your pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet, please take a look at the following audio clips where Marta, one of our Spanish teachers, will teach you how to properly pronounce the Spanis alphabet letters:


A, B, C, D, E

A, be, ce, de, e,

A, b, c, d, e,

Caption 19, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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F, G, H, I, J

efe, ge, hache, i, jota,

f, g, h, i, j,

Caption 20, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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K, L, M, N, Ñ

ka, ele, eme, ene, eñe,

k, l, m, n, ñ,

Caption 21, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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O, P, Q, R, S

o, pe, cu, erre, ese,

o, p, q, r, s,

Caption 22, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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T, U, V, W,

te, u, uve, uve doble,

t, u, v, w,

Caption 23, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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X, Y

equis, i griega

x, y [literally: "Greek i"]

Caption 24, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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y zeta.

and z.

Caption 25, Fundamentos del Español - 1 - El Alfabeto

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Keep in mind that you can also refer to the letter W as doble ve (double v) or doble u (double u). Similarly, you can also call the letter Y ye instead of i griega (Greek i).


That's it for now. If you feel like practicing a little bit more, try to write one word with each one of the 27 Spanish alphabet letters. And of course, don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.


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