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Pronouncing Letter N in Spanish

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Infographics of Pronouncing Letter N in Spanish

How to Pronounce the Spanish Letter ñ

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Steps to Pronounce Spanish Letter ñ
1) Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, right behind your upper, front teeth.
2) Now say the letter “n”.
3) Bring your tongue down and say “yah”.
4) Repeat until perfected
  • cuñado (koo-nyah-doh)  =Brother-in-law

  • Los museos en España suelen descansar los lunes. =Museum in Spain are usually closed on Mondays

  • La señorita a quien usted esperaba acaba de llegar. =The young lady whom you were waiting for just arrived.

  • Un compañero está aquí. =A classmate is here.

  • Nuestro compañero Baldarelli hablaba de ello hace un momento. =Mr Baldarelli mentioned this a few minutes ago.

What is Ñ called in Spanish?

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The consonant ñ gives the Spanish alphabet one more letter than the English alphabet. When you see a wiggly line — called a tilde (teel-deh) — on top of the letter n that looks like ñ, use the ny sound that you use for the English word canyon.
  • Yo escribí la carta esta mañana. =I wrote the letter this morning.

  • Las señoras no están en España. =The women are not in Spain.

  • La señorita Gómez nunca juega con nadie después de las once menos cuarto de la noche. =Miss Gómez never plays with anybody after 10:45 p.m.

  • Tú conoces a mi compañero. =You know (acquainted with) my partner.

What is the sound of Ñ?

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All words that begin with this letter are pronounced with the N sound, but this changes if N precedes C and G. It becomes a little hushed, and the tone of N sound comes in a distant way. You will love the little difference that this intonation gives to the conversation. The meaning of the words comes out concisely and gives you a mastery edge to the Spanish language.   The diatribe aspect of the letter N gives it a little more influence on the language. These are indication marks above the letter that alludes the pronunciation to sound like the word nay in English. 
  • ¿Escribiste la carta esta mañana? = Did you write the letter this morning?

  • Esa es la mujer con la que me voy a España =That is the woman who I am going to Spain with.

  • Yo no sé. Le podemos preguntar a la señorita. =I don't know. We can ask the lady.

  • Mi compañero puede atestiguarlo. =My colleague can confirm this. I always sit here.

What's the difference between N and Ñ? in Spanish

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The ñ came about in the 12th century as a variation of copying a double-n from Latin words. The ñ is a separate letter of the Spanish alphabet, not merely an n with a mark over it. In precise pronunciation of Spanish, the ñ is similar to but different than the "ny" of "canyon."
  • Ellos leerán el periódico mañana en la mañana. =They'll read the newspaper tomorrow morning.

  • La película se rodó en España. =The movie was filmed in Spain.

  • Señorita, ¿me puede decir cuánto cuesta esta camisa? =Miss, can you tell me how much this shirt costs?

  • Además, nuestro compañero Kouchner acaba de recordarlo. =Mr Kouchner too has just made this point.

Is ñ an accent?

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It's very important to include the tilde when writing or typing, because N and Ñ are two different letters.
  • María escribió la carta esta mañana. =María wrote the letter this morning.

  • ¿Cuáles son las capitales de España y Cuba? =What are the capitals of Spain and Cuba?

  • Señorita, ¿cuánto cuesta esta camisa? =Miss, how much does this shirt cost?

  • Comparto lo que acaba de decir mi compañero. =I agree with what my fellow Member has just said.

Spanish Tilde: ñ

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The ~ accent, called a tilde, on the Spanish letter Ñ indicates that the word used to be spelled with two Ns but now the tilde stands in for the second one. Ñ is pronounced like the ni in onion.
  • Nosotros escribimos la carta esta mañana. =We wrote the letter this morning.

  • Estabas realizando un filme en España. =You were doing a film in Spain.

  • Yo quisiera volar de México a España. =I would like to fly from Mexico to Spain.

  • Señorita, ¿Hay corbatas? =Miss, are there ties?.

  • Entre ellos se encuentra mi compañero Méndez de Vigo. =Amongst them is a colleague of mine, Méndez de Vigo.

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