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Home » Language Resources » Spanish Alphabet » Letter G

The Letter G

The Letter G in Spanish

GE. Unvoiced velar fricative consonant (ge/gi) also represents the voiced velar occlusive (ga/go/gu)

Origen of the letter:
The capital letter G came from the Latin C. In the third century BC the letter would acquire a horizontal line to represent a phoneme that was a variant of the C sound which did not exist in Latin.

Example of usage:
Girasol

The G in Spanish

The letter G, the seventh letter of the alphabets originated from Latin. Its name is “GE”. The capital letter G comes from the Latin letter C which in turns comes from the Greek letter gamma Γwhich became rounded in the seventh century BC. The Latin C letter represented two sounds, /g/ and /k/, until the third century BC when a letter was modified to distinguish the /g/ sound. Once the differentiation was made, the new letter took the place of the Z in the Greek alphabet, but was not incorporated into Latin. The modern lowercase g evolved from a form of the letter that immerged in the seventh century.

In Spanish, the letter G represents two different sounds: one when used before an A, O or U that is produced by touching the back of the tongue to the soft palate creating a barrier through which air will pass creating a small explosion while the vocal cords vibrate. The sound created is like that heard in the word “gato”, “cargo” and “Paraguay”. It also has this sound when behind a consonant, such as in the word “gracias”. The other sound made by the G occurs when the letter appears before an E or an I when it is pronounced like the Castilian letter J such as in the words “gente” or “girar”. An unvoiced U letter is found between the G and the vowels E and I to create the same voiced sound as when it is located before an A, O, U or a consonant, as seen in the words “sigue” and “siguiente”.