Tackling the Silent H

pronunciation Oct 23, 2019

The silent Spanish H can get confusing. It’s easy to get frustrated and want to mandar todo a la mierda (another, more creative way of saying to give up). If you think about it though, we have many more silent letters in English, like the K, C, B, D, T, and even the H as well. 

The rule for the Spanish H is that it’s always silent unless it is next to the letter C.

When you see the letter C next to an H you need to make a ch sound, which is almost identical to the “ch” sound in English.

Example: Doy por hecho que a todos les gusta el chocolate.

Here, the H in hecho would be silent, as it is not followed by a C. Chocolate however, would be pronounced with the ‘ch’ sound, since it is followed by the C.

A couple more examples:

¡Hasta luego Mari-Carmen! (Silent)

La horchata se elabora con chufa. (Silent)

Hay que viajar varias horas para llegar a Chile desde Buenos Aires. (Horas is silent, while Chile is not)

Refresh these examples and estarás dominando the silent H en nada.

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