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The Spanish “P” is pronounced in much the same way as the English “P” found in words such as “person” or “pound”, although it is usually softer and less explosive.
To explain what I mean by this I would like to draw your attention to the English “P” in the word “pot” which is pronounced with a more explosive, bigger puff of air than the English “P” in the word “spot.” The Spanish “P” is usually more like the “P” sound heard in “spot”: softer and less explosive. You can hear this in Spanish words such as “persona” (person) or “planta” (plant).
It should also be noted that the Spanish “P” is silent in a few words of Greek origin that start with “PS”, such as “psicología” (psychology). Such words are frequently spelled without the “P”.
I will now give you some examples of Spanish words featuring the “P” and I would like you to repeat each word after me paying attention to the two different “P” pronunciations we have just discussed. If you would like to see the meaning of any words you are unsure of please see the lesson notes.

First let’s practice the most common Spanish “P” sound:

Listen and repeat:

Capa: cape, layer
Paloma: pigeon, dove
Popular: popular
Pecado: sin
Picante: spicy
Apagar: to turn off
Pobre: poor
Pueblo: town
Pelea: fight
Peatón: pedestrian
Pícaro: naughty
Campana: bell
Compota: compote
Copa: wine glass
Capota: canopy, hood

Now, let´s practice some words which begin with the silent Spanish “P”:

Listen and repeat:

Psicólogo: psychologist
Psicosis: psychosis
Psicópata: psychopath
Psiquiatra: psychiatrist
Psicoanálisis: psychoanalysis

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