D sound in Italian

D is a consonant. How do you pronounce D in Italian? Read on to find out.

How to pronounce D in Italian

D is always pronounced in the same way, no matter its position in the word. It sounds like the d in duck or dude.

Its IPA symbol is /d/.

D
D sound

Examples:

Dado, dattero, dolce, padella, sandalo
(/ˈdado/, /ˈdattero/, /ˈdolʧe/, /paˈdɛlla/, /ˈsandalo/)
Dice, date, sweet, pan, sandal

some macarons sweets

Length of the D sound

The D sound in Italian can be single or double.

Italian pronunciation tantrums: what’s up with those double consonants?
These double consonants are called geminates. English uses them only in the written language: a word like tabby, as in tabby cat, is pronounced as if it were actually “taby” and not as “tab-bee”.

Italian geminates, on the other hand, are longer in quality than single consonants, as if they were “doubled”.

Not all Italian consonants can be doubled.

It is double when it’s written as dd. You won’t find a double consonant at the beginning of an Italian word, but always in the middle. For example…

Addurre
(/adˈdurre/)
To put foward, to advance

Listen closely. The “dd” in addurre is double and it has a longer sound. Here are some other examples:

Freddo, reddito, addio
(/ˈfreddo/, /ˈrɛddito/, /adˈdio/)
Cold, income, farewell

a girl freezing in cold weather

Other Italian words with the D sound

Cadere
(/kaˈdere/)
To fall

Decidere
(/deˈʧidere/)
To decide

Bordo
(/ˈbordo/)
Edge

Bandiera
(/banˈdjɛra/)
Flag

Drago
(/ˈdrago/)
Dragon

Sardegna
(/sarˈdeɲɲa/)
Sardinia

a black dragon

Your turn!

Pronounce each given word.

Easy


Hard


What next?

If you liked this lesson on how to pronounce D in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these other free Italian resources:

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