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Italian sounds: double consonants

In Italian, words with double consonants are pronounced differently. Basically, double consonants are pronounced with a longer sound than single consonants.

To help you with pronunciation we can divide double consonants in two groups:

  • those that have an apparently more forceful pronunciation.
  • those that just have a longer sound than single consonants.


Double consonants pronounced more forcefully

(-pp-; -bb-; -tt-; -dd-; -zz; -cc; -gg)

Italian Phonetic symbol English translation
coppia pp couple
dubbio bb doubt
gatto tt cat
freddo dd cold
ragazzo tts boy
razzo ddz rocket
pacco kk pack
faccia ttʃ face
leggo gg I read
maggio ddʒ May

Double consonants pronounced longer

(-ll-; rr-; -mm-; -nn-; -ff-; -vv-; -ss-)

Italian Phonetic symbol English translation
bello ll beautiful
birra rr beer
mamma mm mum
anno nn year
baffi ff mustache
davvero vv really
basso ss short


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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Italian

Università per Stranieri di Siena (UniStraSi)

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