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How to Pronounce X in Spanish?

How to Pronounce X in Spanish

How to Pronounce X in Spanish? Have you ever come across the intriguing dance of the Spanish letter “x“? It seems to waltz between the familiar English “x” sound and the softer “s” sound. If you’ve been puzzling over its unpredictable nature, you’re not alone.

Let’s delve into the fascinating realm of Spanish pronunciation and uncover the rules governing when the “x” takes on its distinctive forms.

Check also: Spanish Verb Esperar Conjugation

X for English Speakers

Pronouncing the Spanish letter “x” can be a puzzling endeavor for English speakers due to its varying sounds and distinct phonetic rules. Unlike its consistent sound in English, the Spanish “x” can take on different forms depending on its position within a word or its surrounding letters. Let’s navigate through the complexities of pronouncing the Spanish “x” and uncover the strategies to master its diverse sounds.

Check also: Spanish Verb Trabajar Conjugation

Explanation: How to Pronounce X in Spanish?

‘X’ with a ‘Sh’ Sound

It can get a bit tricky because sometimes the Spanish letter “x” sounds different, like the English “sh.” This happens in some words from other languages, like Catalan, Basque, or indigenous American languages. For example, a city in Guatemala called Xela is pronounced more like “SHEL-lah,” sounding a bit like “sh” in English.

Words Beginning with ‘X’

When a word starts with the letter “x” in Spanish (not many words do), it usually sounds like the letter “s,” not like the “z” sound we have in English. For example, the word “xenofobia” is pronounced like “senofobia” because the “x” sounds like “s.”

‘X’ Before Another Consonant

When the letter “x” appears before another consonant in Spanish, like in the word “expedición,” its pronunciation can vary. In some places, it sounds like the letter “s,” while in others, it sounds like a soft “ks.” Sometimes, the way “x” is pronounced before a consonant changes from word to word. To be sure, you should listen to someone speaking with the specific accent you want to imitate.

‘X’ Between Vowels

The way the Spanish letter “x” is pronounced can differ based on the region, so there are no universal rules. However, when “x” appears between vowels, like in the word “exactamente,” it’s usually pronounced similar to the English “ks” sound but with a gentler or milder quality.

‘X’ in Mexican Place Names

Certain Mexican place names, including the name of the country Mexico (“México” in Spanish), pronounce the letter “x” like the Spanish letter “j” or the English letter “h.” For instance, “Oaxaca” is pronounced as “Wa-HA-ka.”

Check also: Spanish Verb Creer Conjugation


In the diverse landscape of Spanish pronunciation, the letter “x” exhibits a range of sounds. Whether it’s mimicking the English “s” sound or softly echoing “ks,” and even transforming into the Spanish “j,” mastering the pronunciation of “x” adds depth to your language skills.

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