All about the Spanish letters

The most basic thing that is possible to know about any new language that you are willing to learn is the alphabet, since there might be some different letters depending on the language, as it’s the case withSpanish for the letter "ñ", which you probably have not seen before and you must learn it to incorporate it into your vocabulary.

A difference between other languages like Greek, German or Polish, with Spanish is the advantage of being familiar with most of the letters that are seen in your alphabet, as well as with some ways of pronouncing, since they are a bit similar.

This time, we will teach you several basic principles about the Spanish alphabet.

What about the upside down question mark?

This is probably one of the three most frequent doubts that arise;it is a big difference in English and Spanish in terms of their spelling.

Spanish is the only modern language that uses two question marks, as well as exclamation’s, in their sentences, but this was not always so. As with English, in Spanish a single question mark was used at the end of the question, and it was not until the year 1754 that the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) modified this rule clarifying that two signs were better.

However, after their statements, since the RAE was not as recognized as it is today, the change was not accepted until a century later, so it can be seen in the prints of the time a single question mark, just like in English.

For example: How are you?“¿Cómo estás?”

Is the upside down exclamation mark the same?

Although there is no evidence to confirm that the same thing has happened, the exclamation marks in Spanish are also indisputably two, a difference from other modern languages. It is believed that in English and other languages is used in a single sign because they have other grammatical marks that delimit the expression of doubt or exclamation, depending of the case.

An example with the exclamation point inside out: What a cute dog!“¡Qué perro más lindo!”

Numbers in Spanish

Following the order of the basic things that everyone who wants to learn Spanish has to know, you will find the numbers. The structure for the writing and the phonetic pronunciation of numbers in Spanish varies completely in some cases to English, as in another it remains very similar.

Below are the numbers from 1 to 10, written in Spanish.

Numbers in Spanish for beginners

As you can see, more than a number in the top 10 hasa similar writing and a phonetic pronunciation to those we know in English, so learning them will not be very difficult. With patience and dedication, you’ll learn faster than you think without problems.

Another aspect that we slightly mention in this section is the compound numbers. In English, the writing of the same is more systematic, while in Spanish it is much more textual.

For example:

1869: Eighteen, sixty-nine. “Mil ochocientos sesenta y nueve”.

Differences and similarities between Spanish and English

To begin with, there are many similarities between the two alphabets, which establish the bases of similarities of the language as such, which facilitates the learning of the English-speaking student who ventures into Spanish.

To begin with, one of the similarities between the Spanish alphabet and English is that both use letters to express, as far as alphabetic languages are concerned, a difference of pictographic languages such as Chinese, which uses symbols to describe complete words.

In addition, both languages are based on the Roman alphabet, reason why its letters are similar, with some exceptions that we will mention later.


30 or 40% of English words have a word that is related in Spanish, both in sound, appearance and meaning, which facilitate the student to expand their vocabulary by associating words in their native language.

Another similarity is that most sentences in English and Spanish have the same basic structures, except for some exceptions in the order of words changes. An example is the change of adjective before noun in English a noun before adjective in Spanish.

On the other hand, perhaps the biggest difference between English and Spanish lies in the first only has five vowel sounds, while English has more than 14, and they vary by regional dialects. For example, short sounds that exist in English for "a" and "i" do not exist for Spanish, so this may make it difficult to understand certain words.

Other differences respect to the English and Spanish alphabet are that the consonants v, ll, h, j, r, rr, z and x have very different pronunciations in both languages. In addition, the consonant “ñ”does not even exist in English; instead, the sound it represents is written with "ny".

Some combinations of letters are pronounced different. For example, in Spanish, when u accompanies the q, the first is not pronounced. That is why English students who are learning Spanish may have trouble pronouncing words like “Queso” or “Quien”.

In Spanish, scripts are used as a dialogue mark, while in English, quotes are used.

For example: "Come here" he said. –Ven aquí-le dijo.

On the other hand, there are certain combinations in English that Spanish does not have, and we listed them below.

Differences between English and spanish

Finally, the suffixes and prefixes we know in English, such as, over, under, -ly, -ness, -ful, -est, are totally different from their Spanish counterparts. On Spanish usual prefixes and suffixes are –pre, -pro, -logia, cito.

To know these differences is important, since they’re the base to understand the whole new language you are trying to learn.