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Home » Language Resources » Spanish Alphabet » Letter P

The Letter P

The Letter P in Spanish

PE. Occlusive bilabial unvoiced consonant sound.

Origen of the letter:
From the Latin 'P' and the Greek 'RO'.

Example of usage:

The P in Spanish

P, the seventeenth letter of the Spanish alphabet, comes from the Latin as an adaptation of the Greek letter PI which in turn came from an Egyptian hieroglyphic. Its name is PE.

In Spanish, the consonant “P” has no noticeable differences in pronunciation. Phonetically, the letter “P” is described as an “unvoiced, occlusive consonant”. It has the same point of articulation as the letter “B” because it is bilabial.

In the Spanish words that are borrowed from other languages, when the “P” sound appears at the beginning of a word, it corresponds to a “P” used in its language of origin. For example, “pala” from the Latin word “pala”, “paradigm” from the Greek word “paradeigma”, “patata” which was taken from America and “papaya”, a word of Filipino origin.

The letter “P” is silent in letter combinations such as “PS” and “PN” like in the Spanish words “psicólogo” and “pneumólogo”. The Royal Spanish Academy allows the elimination of the letter “P” in words which pertain to the “PN” group; but it is more common to eliminate the “P” in words belonging to the “PS” group. The letter combination “PH” to represent the letter “F” does not appear in Spanish as it does in other romance languages, and it is only accepted in spellings of brand names.