andar, vivir (pronunciation: trilling the "r" of infinitives)

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¡Alla Voy!

Senior Member
English - Australian
Hi guys,

I wanted to ask, particularly the native speakers if you trill the "r" at the end of infinitives?

E.g. PediR / CaminaR / BorraR

There's no doubt in my mind that this happens but I wanted to pinpoint if this is a characteristic of Latin American Spanish of Spanish from Spain. I have noticed that while most speakers would simply tap the ending "r" it isn't uncommon to hear it trilled. I have heard it trilled in many songs and also when the infinitive is used as a noun. For example "es nuestro debeR".

I actually do this subconsciously without thinking and I don't know where I have picked it up from. I tend to favor watching L.A dubs of films/series ect so this could be typical of L.A or it could however be nothing more than pronouncing the word more distinctly. I find that it helps us non native speakers sound much more natural. As many non native speakers often mispronounce the intonation of the infinitive and the 3rd person singular verb form (e.g. hablar/habla) - they would pronounce it (hablar/habla)

So I guess my question is, do you guys trill the ending r?

  • mnguiri

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I'm not a native speaker, but from what I've heard I think most native speakers trill R's at the end of a word. I've heard some say that you can tell if someone is a non-native speaker if they constantly trill that R for too long. It usually is trilled but subtle. Let's see if any native speakers can give us more insight.


    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    I perceive my final r's as non-trilled, that is, as in 'caro', not 'carro'. When they link with a following vowel, it's even more obvious.


    English U.S.
    I was taught in a phonetics class many years ago that, while /r/ and /rr/ are largely in free variation at the end of infinitives, the tendency is to use /rr/ in emphatic or very formal speech. "Señoras y señores, tengo el inmenso honorrrrrrrrrrrr....", etc.


    Senior Member
    Neither a trill nor a tap/flap. It's an approximant /ɹ/.
    color /ko'loɹ/
    llamar /ʎa'maɹ/

    115. Defectos relativos a la pronunciación de la r.-
    Algunas personas, sobre todo en pronunciación enfática, refuerzan con exceso la r final de sílaba, dándole más de una vibración; dicho reforzamiento se observa en especial entre salmantinos, zamoranos y leoneses; suelen también practicarlo los actores como detalle cómico.

    T. Navarro Tomás, Manual de pronunciación española. Madrid, 1982.

    ¡Alla Voy!

    Senior Member
    English - Australian
    Thanks for your replys. It's definitely a thing though. Check out the song "Y ahora te sorprendes" by Gloria Trevi. She trills all the final "r"s of the infinitives. Even those with pronouns attached. (contaminaRme/arrancaRme/haceRme/pediR)
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