How To PRONOUNCE The R in Spanish

Today we are going to talk about how to pronounce the R in Spanish.

Before I get into exactly how to pronounce the r, the first thing I want to talk about is why this is so important. 

In Spanish, you probably know, there’s a “single R” and a “double R,” and these have different sounds. 

It’s important not to mistake the two.

Let me explain…

For example, if I say, “Los zapatos son caros,” that means, “The shoes are expensive.” 

“Caro” is the word for expensive.

All right, now let’s say I mistakenly say, “Los zapatos son carros.”

That means, “the shoes are cars,” which, obviously, doesn’t make sense.

“Carro” is the word for car.

So, you don’t want to roll your single R. 

If you do, you’re going to find yourself in trouble. 

There are only a few instances where you will roll the single R, or they say “trill” the single R.

Anytime you see the single R in the middle of a sentence, you will never roll it.

You will do so, if it’s at the beginning of a sentence. So, for the word like “rápido,” you’d trill the single R. 

At the end of sentences, you also might trill it. 

But this post is more focused on kind of that single R that is in the middle of the sentence. 

How To Properly Say The “R” In Spanish

The single R is a simple tap of your tongue on the front palate of your mouth.

It’s just a slight tap, maybe like a single flap. (Watch the video above so you can see and hear the difference.)

Think of it as kind of like the “double T” in the English word “little.”

Another tip you can use, is to implement an English D instead of that Spanish R. 

So let me give you an example… 

Instead of saying the word “caro,” you can say “Ca-Do,” [Ka-Doh] with the English D.

Now repeat that word over and over, fast.

Eventually you’ll say the proper word.

You can use this tip for most sentences with an R in the middle.


Let’s quickly recap some take home things that you can do so. you can practice on your own. 

  1. Make sure you are saying the single R in the right places instead of the double R, because if you make this mistake, then you will be saying a completely different word, and your sentences will be messed up, and people won’t be able to understand you.
  2. Use the front palate, right here, but you’re not rolling your R, so it’s not “erre” it’s a little tap, “ere.”
  3. Implement a hard English D instead of the R. Let’s go back to just how to say the letter.

If you found this post helpful and want to truly become conversationally fluent in Spanish then I recommend checking out our Seven Day Spanish Course. 

Rocky Rodriguez

Rocky is the founder of Speak Spanish Faster. He’s helped thousands of students all over the world speak Spanish faster through his proprietary methods of training.