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 this?

Me gusta el perro, no su grupo de amigos I like the dog, not his group of friends

If not, why not?


4 Answers 4


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. Stress and rhythm. 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.
  • 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
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 18:19
  • 1
    @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
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 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.


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.


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/


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