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Rules to use the letter Z in Spanish


Understanding how to use the letter Z is a bit easier than the letters C and S, since the use of this letter is much more limited, and therefore, the rules on how to use it are just a few. The benefits of using the letters s, c and z correctly, will help you to create texts in Spanish with a better quality, without the need of advanced vocabulary.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have explained a little how to understand the C and S letters, since the pronunciation for these, as well as the Z sounds quite similar, it is quite important to understand the difference between all of them, we recommend you to read those articles as well. These are 7 basic tips and rules easy to remember when writing in Spanish.

We use the letter S when...

  • All the words ending in ‘anza’ and ‘azgo’. For example : mundanza (moving), panza (belly), danza (dance), hallazgo (finding). Exception : mansa or manso (gentle).
  • All the ‘abstract nouns’ ending in ‘ez’, ‘eza’, ‘az’ and ‘oz’. The so-called 'abstract nouns' in the Spanish language are objects or concepts that are perceived or created by thoughts, referring to intangibles things, like actions, feelings, qualities and ideals. For example : belleza (beauty), rigidez (rigidity), paz (peace), torpeza (clumsiness), eficaz (effective).
  • All the words with the augmentative suffix to increase a subject, ending in ‘azo’ and ‘aza’. For example : carrazo (great car), puertazo (door slap), ojazos (beautiful eyes).
  • All the words ending in ‘iz’, ‘ez’, ‘oz’ and ‘az’ when these are patronymic names. For example : Rodríguez, Ortiz, Sánchez, Alvarez.
  • ** All the words with the diminutive suffix to decrease a subject, ending in ‘zuela’ and ‘zuelo’. For example : landronzuelo (thief), jovenzuelo (youngster).
    ** please note that this diminutive rule for words ending in ‘zuela’ and ‘zuelo’ is not used in Latin American Spanish language, it is more commonly used in Spain. To understand a little more about the augmentative and diminutive words in Spanish language, please click here.
  • To all infinitive verbs ending in ‘zar’ and its conjugations before the vowels a, o. For example : analizar - analizo (analize), paralizar - paralizo (paralyze), canalizar - canalizo (canalize).
  • All the words ending in ‘izo’ and ‘iza’. For example : mestizo (half Blood), movediza (moving), enfermiza (sickly).

This concludes this series of three articles on how to understand the difference of ‘C’, ‘S’ and ‘Z’ letters in Spanish language.

Keep practicing, keep learning Spanish.




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