Presentation and Practice: Single Vowels

About Single Vowels In Spanish

They are shorter and tenser than English vowels.

They show a much greater consistency between sound and spelling than in English.

►When they occur alone (not before or after another vowel), they are not preceded or followed by a y or w sound, as happens in English may [mei], toe [tow], cute [ kyuwt].

Pronunciation of the Five Vowels
  Vowel Description, Errors to avoid Examples  
  a ah as in father papá; trabaja  
    avoid: æ (hat); ɘ (comma); ā (base)    
  e eh as in bet es, se, Pepe  
    avoid: ē (feet); ɘ (novel); ā (say)    
  i like ee in feet, but shorter ti, mí, civil  
    avoid: ĭ (fit); ī (fight)    
  o as in note, but shorter como, poco  
    avoid: following w sound (note [nowt])    
  u as in flute, but shorter mucho, Uruguay  
    avoid: preceding y, following w (cute [kyuwt])    


Click the ► symbol. Following along with the script below, repeat after the speaker.
      a e i o u      
      a e i o u      
      a-e-i-o-u a-e-i-o-u      
      (a) América mapa Papá      
        analizar trabaja Guadalajara      
        Papá trabaja en Guadalajara .      
      (e) es elefante se le vende      
        evidente este Ernesto      
        Es evidente que Ernesto bebe leche.      
      (i) inteligente Chile primitivo      
        dividir mi vida civilización      
        Es difícil investigar una civilización primitiva.      
      (o) económico como poco      
        Colombia Bogotá pollo      
        Esos chicos son un poco locos, ¿no?      
      (u) público cultura música      
      natural único según tú      
      Julia, usted estudia mucho la cultura uruguaya.