How to Pronounce Italian Words

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You love those melodious sounds at the opera, and listening to the voices of those Italian stars in foreign films is an aural thrill. These quick, step-by-step instructions on how to pronounce Italian words will help you to sound like you were born in «il bel paese».

Difficulty: Hard

Time Required: One month

Here's How

  1. Usually, Italian words are stressed on the next-to-the-last syllable.
  2. When the final -e is dropped from a word, as happens with some masculine titles when they are directly followed by a proper name, the position of the stress remains unchanged.
  1. Following the above rule, dottore/doctor becomes dottor Nardi/Doctor Nardi and professore/professor becomes professor Pace/Professor Pace.
  2. When words are stressed on the last vowel, they always have a written accent over that vowel. For instance, cioè (namely) and città (city).


  1. It is useful to remember that open e and o occur only in stressed syllables.
  2. The written accent is used with a few monosyllables in order to distinguish them from others that have the same spelling but a different meaning.
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Your Citation
Filippo, Michael San. "How to Pronounce Italian Words." ThoughtCo, Feb. 1, 2018, Filippo, Michael San. (2018, February 1). How to Pronounce Italian Words. Retrieved from Filippo, Michael San. "How to Pronounce Italian Words." ThoughtCo. (accessed April 26, 2018).