Most consonants in English can only be pronounced in one way. However, there are a few exceptions. One of these is the letter ‘c’. This can be pronounced like /s/, which is a soft sound, or like /k/, which is a hard sound.
Learners can work out how the letter is pronounced by reading and hearing sentences that contain the letter ‘c’.
- The traffic is bad in the city.
- Only take the medicine in an emergency.
- I’ve been to the cinema twice this week.
- I need to collect the parcel.
- Please call the police!
Learners can listen to the sentences and circle the letter ‘c’ when it is pronounced /k/ and underline it when it is pronounced /s/. Then they can work out the pattern before saying the sentences.
The pattern for the letter ‘c’ is that it is usually pronounced as /s/ before the letters ‘e’, ‘i’ or ‘y’ and as /k/ everywhere else.