If V is pronounced uve, then would it sound the same as UB (u-be)? If that is the case, how do speakers disambiguate this possible confusion?

1 Answer 1


A pause denotes a separate letter:

VIH: ube, i , hache
UBA: u, be a

People often use whole words to denote letters when there is noise, or when talking over the phone:

Valencia, Italia, Huelva
Uruguay, Barcelona, Almería

You can also say ve-baja for v and be-alta for b.

  • Thanks! So do you have to use a pause, or is a pause just usually there? I was thinking about the ordinary speed of speaking. How would you know if ubeiache is't really UBIH, or that ubea really isn't VA? Ordinarily, would you say e.g. ve-baja and be-alta when (or whenever) you say the letters in an acronym? Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 20:48
  • 4
    @Rethliopuks stress tells you a lot. VIH is /úbeíáche/ and UBIH is /úbéíáche/ Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 23:00
  • The pause comes naturally, and as @guifa says, stress is important, but these may be difficult for inexperienced speakers to catch. Context, of course, helps a lot, too. So in FBI there's usually no need to say be-alta.
    – Tranquis
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 6:13

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