I sound in Italian

I in Italian is a vowel.

How to pronounce I in Italian

I is always pronounced in the same way, no matter its position in the word. It sounds like the ee in eel, or also see. It’s never pronounced as the i in pin or tin.

Its IPA symbol is /i/.

I
I sound

Examples:

Ivi, fili, istrici, figli, ispidi
(/ˈivi/, /ˈfili/, /ˈistriʧi/, /ˈfiʎʎi/, /ˈispidi/)
There, threads, porcupines, sons, shaggy

some colored threads

Length of the I sound

The I sound in Italian can be short or long.

It is long if it’s stressed and it’s at the end of the syllable, but not at the end of a word. For example…

Vicini
(/viˈʧini/)
Neighbors

Listen closely. The second “i” in vicini is long, since it’s stressed and is at the end of the syllable (ci).

Dipinti
(/diˈpinti/)
Paintings

man painting some flowers

The stress is yet again on the second “i” vowel, but its length is short because the syllable ends with an -n (pin).


Other Italian words with the I sound

Ricci
(/ˈritʧi/)
Hedgehogs

Stili
(/stiˈli/)
Styles

Inni
(/ˈinni/)
Hymns

Indicibili
(/indiˈʧibili/)
Unspeakable

Indizi
(/inˈdittsi/)
Clues

Libri
(/ˈlibri/)
Books

boy taking a book from a shelf

Your turn!

Pronounce each given word.

Easy


Hard


More free Italian resources

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