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  2.12 Das 'h'

This letter is very easy because it is not pronounced at all, has no phonetic value on its own. It only changes, as we have seen before, the phonetic value of other letters.

However, for people who speak Spanish, where this letter isn't pronounced either, this letter can be a pitfall, not in the pronunciation, but in the writing. One may put an 'h' where it shouldn't be put because they are accustomed to do so in Spanish. In Italian, normally it is neither pronounced nor written. That means that Latin words like habitare, which were written with an 'h' in Latin and are still written with an 'h' in Spanish, are written without 'h' in Italian. However, there are important exceptions to this rule.

The very important verb avere, used to form the compound tenses, has an 'h' in some forms io ho / tu hai / lui ha / loro hanno ) but is written without 'h' in other forms (noi abbiamo / voi avete). This is nothing really difficult, but worth to be mentioned.

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