F sound in Italian

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

How to pronounce F in Italian

F is always pronounced in the same way, no matter its position in the word. It sounds like the f in fun or often.

Its IPA symbol is /f/.

F
F sound

Examples:

Faro, filo, afa, sfera, perfetto
(/ˈfaro/, /ˈfilo/, /ˈafa/, /ˈsfɛra/, /perˈfɛtto/)
Lighthouse, wire, sultriness, sphere, perfect

a lighthouse

Length of the F sound

The F 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 ff. You won’t find a double consonant at the beginning of an Italian word, but always in the middle. For example…

Afferrare
(/afferˈrare/)
To grab

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

Muffa, scaffale, ruffiano
(/ˈmuffa/, /skafˈfale/, /rufˈfjano/)
Mold, shelf, sycophant

a bookcase with many shelves

Other Italian words with the F sound

Fortuna
(/forˈtuna/)
Luck

Profondo
(/proˈfondo/)
Deep

Soffio
(/ˈsoffjo/)
Breath, puff

Fretta
(/ˈfretta/)
Haste

Gonfio
(/ˈgonfjo/)
Swollen

Fragola
(/ˈfragola/)
Strawberry

strawberry rice

Your turn!

Pronounce each given word.

Easy


Hard


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