Comparing with Spanish 't', put the tip of tongue behind the upper teeth and press a bit to pronounce it, when it comes to 'd' sound, just put the tip of my tongue between the upper teeth and the lower teeth, I want to know if this method of pronouncing 'd' is right. Is there any other ways to pronounce the 'd' sound?

  • this was asked for the same user, and @guifa answers address the tongue position for the 3 cases. Aug 20, 2014 at 18:22
  • @lampe: This really does appear to be a duplicate of your earlier question. This question is slightly more specific, but the answer on the other question answers the question of tongue placement. Is there something specific you feel needs to be expounded upon?
    – Flimzy
    Aug 21, 2014 at 11:14

3 Answers 3


Depends where the d is located.

In front of the word or after a consonant:

  • It is pronounced like you how pronounce it in English. Example: day = día, agenda = emprenda.

After a vowel

  • It is pronounced like "th" as in "the". Example: edulcorante, educación.

At the end of the word

  • It is pronounced like "th" as in "the". But in many dialects it is very relaxed. Examples: Madrid, usted, verdad. -But you can still find some people that pronounce the "d" at the end of the word as in Madrid-

Ends in -ado, -ido

  • It is almost imperceptible. Examples: cansado, comido.

Important: This answer must be analyzed in its entire form. The statements are not by any means independent of each other.

  • I don't really agree. The difference between the two first 'd' sounds you mention so subtle that most spanish speakers (myself included) are not aware of its existence. In any case, the first case is not as explosive as the Enlish 'd', and the second case never as smooth. And -above all- it's never pronounced sticking the tongue between/outside the teeth as in the "the".
    – leonbloy
    Aug 19, 2014 at 16:03
  • 1
    @leonbloy, Yes I know, It is subtle but exists, I don't see a big difference but every country has different ways to pronounce the "d". In Spain you will find that my statement is true. Also the RAE states the difference and therefore justifies my answer. I can not make a statement based on regional dialects.
    – Rosenthal
    Aug 19, 2014 at 16:15
  • 1
    @leonbloy: I think that the difference is that in the first case, the /d/ is occlusive while in the second case it is approximant. That is, the tongue is in the same position but one blocks the flow of air while the other does not.
    – rodrigo
    Aug 20, 2014 at 9:36
  • I think this is a good answer, for what it is, but it doesn't actually address tongue position, which was what the question was asking about. Do you care to elaborate on that point?
    – Flimzy
    Aug 21, 2014 at 10:51
  • @Flimzy but it is a duplicate
    – Rosenthal
    Aug 21, 2014 at 14:21

The consonant D, in Spanish, is known as a dental consonant, because, well, your tongue presses against your teeth. Not to be confused with Alveolar consonants which would be above your teeth slightly, touching the alveoli (the back of the gum holes).

There are several other variations of that consonant within different dialects. Some pronounce it as (th), some pronounce is as a J sound (known as a post-alveolar consonant). The TH form is a labiodental consonant because the tongue touches both the teeth and the lips.

  • 1
    th is not labiodental, but interdental (you stick your tongue between your teeth, and because of that you also touch your lips with it). A labiodental is a consonant where the bottom lip touches the upper teeth, such as f.
    – Gorpik
    Aug 20, 2014 at 12:03
  • Otherwise known as a fricative. Ok thanks
    – dockeryZ
    Aug 20, 2014 at 20:52
  • Well, fricative refers to the articulation mode, not the articulation place. f is both a labiodental and a fricative (also voiceless, if you want to be comprehensive).
    – Gorpik
    Sep 1, 2014 at 8:37

I think that the standard Spanish d is the same as the standard Spanish t, but with d being voiced, while t is voiceless.

That is, in both phonemes the tip of the tongue is pressed to the back of the upper teeth, but pointing slightly down. Maybe the part of the tongue just next to the tip is just[touching the alveolar ridge. It is actually a denti-alveolar consonant. Sometimes the tongue does not actually touch the teeth, so the consontant is not totally oclusive (approximant consonant).

If you put the tongue between the upper and lower teeth you will get a sound more like /z/ instead of /d/. That is usual and somewhat accepted for a d at the end of a word, such as in "Madrid" or "id" (imperative of "ir"), but not for other places.

In relaxed speech, particularly in intervocalic positions, the d sound is sometimes relaxed. This is done by keeping a gap between the tongue and the teeth (not lower the tongue) and preventing the stop of the air flow.

In extreme cases the d may even disappear, such as in "estoy cansa(d)o".

Note that the t sound cannot be relaxed this way, maybe because it is voiceless.

  • i once heard an argentino prouncing 'd' pair sounds, and i feel that it should be between english 'd' and 'th'. and he taught me put the tip of my tongue between the teeth.
    – lampe
    Aug 20, 2014 at 5:30
  • @lampe: There are a lot of variations in Spanish pronunciations, it depends on location, background and personal preferences. Anyway, I don't think that interdental 'd' is very frequent, so you are probably better avoiding it.
    – rodrigo
    Aug 20, 2014 at 9:32
  • :my teacher taught me the same way of pronouncing 'd' as you told me.however,after some training i find that making the neck virbate is harder in the constant talk while put the tip of tounge between teeth would be easier,the final destination is the make 'd' sound softer, is it right?
    – lampe
    Aug 21, 2014 at 2:57
  • @lampe: Producing new voiced consontants may be challenging (I know, I have difficulties with the English voiced 's'). The question is "why". If you want to soften your 'd' to sound less alien, then changing it into an voiced interdental is not the solution, as it will sound even more alien. Note that the hard 'd' does appear in Spanish, at the beginning of a phrase, for example. But the voiced interdental is unheard of.
    – rodrigo
    Aug 21, 2014 at 10:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.