Amigo and gusto are pronounced with an 'oh' sound at the end. Does O always sound like that? What about it in tomate?

When I Google it they always say it's pronounced differently :_;

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    Do you have a link as to where you found this different pronunciation? The sounds you are mentioning sound like what I would expect for European Portuguese, but not Spanish. May 31 '19 at 21:29
  • flagging as "based on opinion" as the part of the question "why does everyone" is asking for opinions, please fix the question verbosing.
    – Mike
    May 31 '19 at 23:34
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    I agree that "everyone says" is problematic, but for a slightly different reason. Can you tell us more about who "everyone" is? Did someone tell you? Did you find it online? Where is the person from, and do they have some claim to fame? // Have you listened to some online recordings? That's often a helpful way to get started. Ultimately, you need to watch someone's mouth as they're pronouncing some simple words. Jun 1 '19 at 0:09

Spanish vowels are "pure." In contrast, the vowels in English are actually combinations of more than one sound. (The technical term is "diphthong".)

Let's take the English word "No" as an example. A Spanish speaker who wants to show a friend how to pronounce that word might write nou.

I'll assume you are a native English speaker. If you pronounce "no" in slow motion, looking at just your mouth in the mirror (to avoid distractions about things like what's going on with your hair today), you'll see that your mouth starts out in one shape and size, and then by the end of the word, your mouth looks different -- you've pushed your lips out.

Well, in Spanish, for each individual written vowel, the mouth stays in just one position. It doesn't glide around from one shape to another during that syllable. So, we say that Spanish vowels are "pure."

I have no idea where you got the idea of “oo” or “uh."

The three examples you brought up are great. Yes, the O sound in the last syllable of amigo and gusto are pronounced exactly the same as the O sound in the first syllable of tomate.

I learned Spanish as a young adult, with English as my first language. I found it helpful to practice my pronunciation while singing slowly.

That's not the only way to go about it, though. In grad school I had an office mate once who was Chinese, studying in the US, and taking Russian for enrichment. Every day he went home for an hour in the afternoon, to do his Russian homework. I asked him why. He said he couldn't do it in the office because when he was reading his Russian words and sentences, he had to shout them. That's what worked for him.

When you're practicing Spanish words and sentences, try to make each syllable the same length (duration). Go slow at first and don't forget to use the small mirror.


These sounds evolved from Latin pronunciation and the Latin alphabet. So pronunciation of vowels in Spanish is actually closer to their original pronunciation.

Trying to explain how to pronounce words that are not in your alphabet by mixing different letters is not going to accomplish anything for even in the same languages vowel pronunciation changes (thankfully in Spanish this is not a noticeable problem).

Remember vowels in Spanish will always have the exact same 5 sounds (except when they're mute).

Here's a video about pronunciation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orOW9eRQfpE

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