Blog     Courses     Coaching     Contact

Download the complete Spanish courses

Comprehensive, fun, easy-to-follow Spanish courses of video lessons (with notes), conversation audios (with transcripts), interactive exercises (with answers), and texts (with transcripts).

Use the player below for the mp3 lesson:

The most important thing to remember about pronouncing the Spanish “B” and “V” is that they are pronounced in exactly the same way. The sound of the English “V” does not exist in standard Spanish.

The sounds of the letters do vary slightly, however, depending on the sounds around them:

1. When the “B” or “V” is at the beginning of a word or immediately following a consonant, it is pronounced like an English “B”.

2. When the “B” or “V” is in any other position the “B” sound is not as strong and is made by putting your lips close together – without quite touching – and pushing air through them. This is known as a “Bilabial Fricative”. “Bilabial” refers to a sound that is produced with both lips, while “Fricative” means that the sound is created by a partial blockage of the air flow. To give you an idea, the letters “F”, “S”, and “V” are fricative sounds in English. Don’t worry, this sounds more complicated than it actually is in practice.

Now I will give you some examples of Spanish words featuring the letter “B” and “V” and I would like you to repeat each word after me paying special attention to the “B” sound. 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 English “B” sound, when the “B” or “V” is found at the beginning of a word or immediately after a consonant:

Listen and Repeat:

Bien: well
Ámbar: amber
Vosotros: you
Bailar: to dance
Invierno: winter
Batido: milkshake
Vino: wine
Albañil: builder
Bacteria: bacteria
Bermudas: Bermuda shorts

Now let’s practice the “Bilabial Fricative” sound, when the “B” or “V” is in any other position than at the beginning of a word or immediately after a consonant:

Listen and repeat:

Trabajar: to work
Avión: plane
Problema: problem
Obelisco: obelisk
Oveja: sheep
Hablar: to speak
Nueve: nine
Noventa: ninety
Abismo: abyss
Abeja: bee

Finally, let´s practice some words that contain both types of pronunciation:

Listen and repeat:

Beber: to drink
Vivir: to live
Bobo: fool/idiot
Babero: bib
Vivo: alive

Pin It on Pinterest