Like many other Spanish dialects, Dominican Spanish features yeísmo: the sounds represented by ll (the palatal lateral /ʎ/) and y (historically the palatal approximant /j/) have fused into one. This merged phoneme is generally pronounced as a [j] or [dʒ] (these are the sounds in EnglishYork and John). That is, in the Dominican Republic, se cayó "he fell down" is homophonous with se calló "he became silent / he shut up".
Dominican Spanish has seseo (traditional /θ/ merges with /s/). That is, casa ("house") is homophonous with caza ("hunt"). Seseo is common to all of Hispanic America, the Canary Islands, and southern Spain.
Strong contraction in everyday speech is common, as in "voy a" into "vuá" or "voá", or "¿para adónde vas?" into "¿p'ónde va'?". Another example: "Taco 'tá 'co'ta'o", from "Taco está acostado" ("Taco is lying down / Taco is sleeping").
The fricative /s/ has a tendency to become an indistinct aspiration or disappear or to become a voiceless glottal fricative[h] at the end of syllables. This change may be realized only at the word level or it may also cross word boundaries. That is, las mesas son blancas "the tables are white" is pronounced [lahˈmesah sɔn ˈblaŋkah], but in las águilas azules "the blue eagles", syllable-final /s/ in las and águilas might be resyllabified into the initial syllable of the following vowel-initial words and remain [s] ([laˈsaɣilasaˈsulɛh]), or become [h] (it varies by speaker). Aspiration or disappearance of syllable-final /s/ is common to all of Hispanic America, the Canary Islands, and southern Spain.
Example 1: To say lo niño or los niño, instead of los niños
Example 2: To say lluvia ailada or lluvias ailada, instead of lluvias aisladas
In some areas, speakers tend to drop the final r sound in verb infinitives. This elision is considered a feature of uneducated speakers in some places, but it is widespread in others, at least in rapid speech.
Syllable-final r tends to be changed in many words by an i sound in the Northerly Cibao region and by an l (L) in the Eastern and in the capital city (Santo Domingo); i.e., the verb correr (to run) is pronounced correi and correl respectively, and perdón (forgiveness) becomes peidón and peldón. This substitution of i is delicately (almost mutely) present in Andalusian Spanish, and also the l use is prototypical, and more marked, in Puerto Rican Spanish. It is believed to be of Andalusian origin.
Dominican Spanish uses the common Caribbean inverted placement of the second person singular pronoun tú in front of the verb in questions: "¿Cómo tú estás?" instead of "¿Cómo estás tú?". When speaking formally or with those the speaker does not speak with familiarity, then they use the more formal usted, instead of tú, the conventional word order is used.
The "D" sound before the "O" is silent. For example, the words casado (married) and lado (side, way) are pronounced as casao and lao in Dominican Spanish.
In some parts of the country, the "L" sound after the "E" (only if the "L" is the last letter) is pronounced as an "R" sound. For example, Miguel is pronounced as Miguer in Dominican Spanish.
Other differences with Standard Spanish include subtleties like hypercorrection, in particular, adding the s erroneously, thus overcompensating the habit of omitting it.
colmado (this is an archaism seldom used in Spanish also), and pulpería
tienda de ultramarinos
zafacón (used also in Puerto Rico; possibly a corrupted anglicism of safety can)
bote de basura
conflé (possibly a corrupted anglicism of corn flakes)
Pamper (many Spanish-speaking countries use this term, including Puerto Rico, Cuba, and in Central America. It is also believed to be a genericized term deriving from a trademark.)
Vivaporu (a generic term derived from a trademark)
A slightly pejorative slang expression also common around most of the Caribbean basin is vaina. The Castilian meanings are "sheath", "pod", "shell", "shell casing", and "hull" (of a plant). It is descended from the Latin word "vagina". In the Dominican Republic "vaina" is mainly a thing, a matter, or simply "stuff". For example, ¿Qué vaina es esa? means ¿Qué cosa es esa?, "What is that thing/stuff?".
Anglicisms, due to cultural and commercial influence from the United States and the American occupations of the Dominican Republic during 1916–1924 and 1965–1966, are extremely common in Dominican Spanish, more so than in any other Spanish variant, save for Puerto Rican and perhaps Northern Mexican Spanish. A prime example of this is "vaguada", which is a corruption of the English "bad weather", though in Dominican Spanish the term has come to mean storm or torrential downpour, rather than a spot of unpleasant climate. Hence, a common Dominican expression: "Viene una vaguada", "here comes a vaguada", or "here comes a storm". Another excellent example of this is "boche", a corruption of the English "bull shit", though in Dominican Spanish the term has come to mean a reprimanding, fulmination, or harangue in general terms. Hence, a common Dominican expression: "Me echaron un boche", "they threw me a boche", or "they reprimanded me". The pronoun "they" in Dominican Spanish often refers to the third person singular, so that me dijeron, "they told me", is sometimes used instead of "a man told me", or "a woman told me", or "the young boy by the lemon tree told me". Furthermore is the Dominican Spanish word for SUV, "yipeta", "jeepeta", or rarely "gipeta". This term is a corruption of the American "Jeep", which was the primary mode of transport for the GI's throughout the country during the occupation in the 1960s. Dominican license plates for SUVs are marked with a "G" for "gipeta", a variant of, and pronounced like, "yipeta", before their serial number. The word "tichel", from "T-shirt", also refers to a rugby shirt, association football jersey, or undershirt, and similarly, "corn flakes" and its variant "con fléi" can refer to any breakfast cereal, in Dominican Spanish, be it puffed corn, bran flakes, or puffed wheat. The borrowing "polo shirt" is frequently pronounced polo ché.
Another phenomenon related to Anglicisms is the usage of brand names as common names for certain objects. For example, "Gillette" and its derivative yilé refer to any razor, and while the machete is known as machete, this being originally a Spanish word, it is sometimes referred to as a "colín", derived from "Collins & Co.", name of a former Connecticut toolmaker.