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If somebody said: "Me gusta él, pero no su grupo de amigos" (I like him, but not his group of friends), could it be heard as: "Me gusta el perro, no su grupo de amigos" (I like the dog, not his group of friends).

If not, why not?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It could be spoken on purpose to make it sound confusing, if you were telling a joke, for example. But in normal speaking, they sound quite different. There are two main differences:

1- Strees and rythm. They will sound more or less:

/me-gús-ta-él/ /pe-ro-nó-su-grú-po-dea-mí-gos/

/me-gús-tael-pé-rro/ /nó-su-grú-po-dea-mí-gos/

Note how the stresses and the pauses are in different places. Also the article el is joined with the previous syllable, while the pronoun él is vocalized separately.

2- The words pero and perro sound quite different to a native speaker. The rr can be difficult to realize for a foreigner, or for natives with speech disorders.

It is worth noting that in writing the confusion is avoided by three differences:

  1. The comma is in a different place.
  2. The rr vs r.
  3. The pronoun él does have an accent over the é while the article el does not.
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Well explained. Pero and Perro doesn't sound quite different in Spain, they sound very different, except in the speech disorders you mentioned (well spotted). I don't think there's much difference in pronunciation between "el" and "él", though. –  Flamma Jun 5 at 18:19
    
@Flamma: Well, "el" and "él" both have the same phonemes /e/+/l/. But "él" is tonic while "el" is atonic, that changes the rythm and the phonetic syllabation. –  rodrigo Jun 5 at 19:47

Es bastante improbable que se confundan. La pronunciación entre el / él y pero / perro es bastante distinta, además de que la entonación cambia,se hace una pequeña pausa (representada por la coma).

Y centrándose en el significado, también es bastante improbable hacer una frase hablando del grupo de amigos de un perro.

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no en español estandar, porque son fonemas diferentes.

[ɾ] raro; pero; bravo; tronco; amor; comer

[r] raro; perro

no estoy seguro si en algunas zonas caribeñas puede acontecer.

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Pero and perro are not pronounced the same way.

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well, "Perro" is pronounced very diferent to "pero", so is not going to be misunderstood if you say it well

look, this is how you pronounce "perro"(dog) http://es.forvo.com/word/perro/

and this is how you pronounce pero http://es.forvo.com/word/pero/

easy...

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