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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 Spanish letter “C” can be pronounced in two different ways:

1. When it comes before the vowels “A”, “O” and “U” it has a similar sound to the English “K” or hard “C”. For example: “cosa” (“thing”).

2. If the “C” comes before an “E” or an “I” its pronunciation is slightly different depending on whether the speaker is Spanish or Latin American:

2.1. In most of Latin America, the “C” has an English “S” sound when it comes before an “E” or an “I”.

2.2. In most of Spain, the “C” before an “E” or an “I” is pronounced like the soft English “TH” in “through” or “think.” Contrary to common belief, this is not a lisp, but is simply the way the letter is pronounced.

It should also be noted that in Spanish the “CH” is considered a separate letter with its own distinct sound.

Now I will give you some examples of Spanish words featuring the letter “C” and I would like you to repeat each word after me paying attention to the distinct “C” 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 pronunciation of the “C” before an “A”, “O” or “U”.

Listen and repeat:

Casa: house
Cuatro: four
Color: colour
Coliflor: cauliflower
Cara: face
Coco: coconut
Cura: priest
Caramelo: candy/sweet
Coma: coma
Saco: sack

Next, let´s practice the Spanish “Castellano” pronunciation of the “C” before an “E” or “I”.

Listen and repeat:

Once: eleven
Diciembre: December
Cerilla: match
Marcela: female name “Marcela”
Gracias: thank you

Finally, let´s practice the Latin American pronunciation of the “C” before an “E” or “I” using the same vocabulary as before.

Listen and repeat:

Once: eleven
Diciembre: December
Cerilla: match
Marcela: female name “Marcela”
Gracias: thank you

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