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I often hear people say things like "mucha gracias" instead of "muchas gracias". When do you usually drop the 's'? And where is this common? I currently live in Barcelona.

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    When people speak fast, you often will not hear that s. That's all it is. If they speak slowly, you will hear the s. This is true across the Spanish-speaking world.
    – Lambie
    Dec 16, 2022 at 17:07

3 Answers 3

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La pronunciación de la "s" es más común y suele hacerse de forma relajada en todo el habla del español meridional parte de Extremadura, Andalucía, Murcia, Ceuta y Melilla. En estas zonas, la pronunciación relajada puede producir la aparente caída total de la articulación de la consonante final, no solo de la "s", sino también de la "d", la "n", la "z", la "r"... y así en lugar de escuchar "gracias" se escucha graciá(h), "tos" por tó(h), "coz" por có(h), "es" por é(h), "ascensor" por ascensó(h) resultando la manera habitual de estas zonas.

Lo correcto seria decir "muchas (gracias)" o simplemente "gracias", aunque en general y no solo en el sur, también otros muchos hablantes y por diversas razones, pronuncian una "s" de forma aspirada, así en lugar de "muchas" dicen muchá (h), que consiste en articular la consonante debilitada sustituyéndolo por un sonido aspirado que en el oído poco acostumbrado, aparenta un relajamiento tal que parece no quedar ni rastro de la articulación alveolar de la "S".

P.D. En Barcelona suelen vivir otras muchas personas procedentes del resto del país, esto incluye zonas con habitantes donde es habitual pronunciar la "S" de forma relajada. A veces al pronunciarse conjuntamente la frase "Mucha(s) gracias", la primera "s" se aspira dejando la fuerza sonora para el final de la frase, donde si se pronuncia la "s" final, para dar más sonoridad y que se entienda mejor la locución interjectiva.

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  • Diego, la s de muchas gracias no se oye cuando la gente habla rápido.
    – Lambie
    Dec 16, 2022 at 17:08
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As far as I know, the correct way is "Muchas gracias". Nevertheless, depending on the origin of the person you are talking with (specially if he/she is from the south part of Spain), speaking they omit the final "s", but what they are saying is "Muchas gracias".

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  • If they speak slowly, they do not drop the s.
    – Lambie
    Dec 17, 2022 at 18:28
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What you're experiencing sounds like a regional pronunciation quirk, as there is no rule to "drop the s" in any case.

Also, Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city, and you probably heard that from a spanish speaking person from elsewhere in the world. I visited BCN years ago, and most locals speak either catalan or spanish with a peculiar accent, but dropping the /s/ on some words is unusual, as far as I can remember.

It is, however, very common in the way spanish is spoken in other places, for example in Mexico, people in the pacific coast usually drop their final /s/ and pronounce s's in the middle of their words with a hissing /h/ rather than the straight /s/ you might expect from international spanish. This is also the case in most of Central America,(I've heard people from Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala doing this also, for example)

Closer to your location, I've heard Madrileños drop their /s/ frequently

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    Also common across the south of Spain and in Canarias. I remember being very confused in Tenerife by being told the bus stop was by the supermercado domil but eventually found the supermercado 2000.
    – mdewey
    Dec 19, 2022 at 14:15

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