Pronunciation: The Letter "G" in Italian


Ciao a tutti!

Today we talk about the pronunciation of a letter which is difficult for many, especially at the initial stages of the study, but sometimes, even after: the letter "G".

This letter, according to the IPA (international phonetic alphabet) has two different readings: while one has a sonorous reading, the other one is silent. Let's see more accurately, thanks also to the support of audio files that you will find below, in which cases one is used instead of another and vice versa.

  • Sonorous G

The easiest to learn because its sound corresponds to the English "g" (like in the word “bag”), not surprisingly, in fact, in the IPA the symbol /g/ is used to represent it. The sound pronunciation is used whenever the letter "G" is accompanied by the vowels "A, O and U"; so we will have:

gatto gomma gusto

gamba fungo gufo

gallo gola Gucci

In the case of "GU", the combination between "G" letter and "U" letter can also be followed not only by a consonant but also by another vowel (naturally different from "U"), such as in:

GU+A GU+E GU+I GU+O guanto guerra guidare esiguo

guardare guerriero guinzaglio ambiguo

lingua sangue pinguino languore

  • Silent G

This second version of the letter in question is represented by the IPA as /dʒ/, meaning the pronunciation is soft or as previously said “silent”. It is pronounced in this way, every time the "G" is followed by the vowels “E” and I”:

geranio ginnastica

gelato girasole

genio gita

Consider that the combination of letter “G” and “E” can also be followed by the letter “O”, making possible to form many words such as:




On the other hand the combination of letter “G” and “I” can also be followed by vocals “A, O and U”; note that the “I” letter makes the sound sweeter:

giacca gioco giustizia

giallo giovane giunco

giardino giostra giubileo

  • G + H

The last sound combination with the letter “G” it is in association with the letter “H” (here the link for the pronunciation of the letter "H".

Because of the letter “H”, “G’s” sound becomes harder. We can use it before the vowels “E” and “I”, as in the following examples:

ghirlanda alghe

preghiera ghetto

ghiaccio ghepardo

In many cases, the combination of “G + H” is used to form the plural of the syllables “GA”, “GO”:

mago → maghi

alga → alghe

I hope everything is clear, if you still have any doubts leave a comment below, I will be happy to answer you!

A presto!

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