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The letters "c" and "g"

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Hi there!

During this lesson we're going to learn how to pronounce the letters: c and g.

The Pronunciation of: c and g generally (but not always, see below) depends upon the letter following either the: c or g.

General Rules

If the following letter is: e, i, or y, the pronunciation of the c or g is normally soft.

If the following letter is any other letter, then the pronunciation of the c or g is normally hard.

Here are some examples of words which contain a soft c. Try repeating each one after me:

Cell
City
Juice
Decision
Cylinder
Receive
License
Distance
Recently

And here are some examples of words which contain a hard c. Try repeating each one after me:

Call
Correct
Cup
Cross
Class
Rescue
Fact
Public
Panic
Ache

Next, here are some words which contain a soft g. Once again try repeating each one after me:

General
Giant
Gymnastic
Large
Energy
Intelligent
Changing

And finally, here as some words which contain a hard g.

Golf
Great
Gum
Gut
Grasp
Fragrant
Pig
Progress

There are also a few interesting words which include both hard and soft sounds.
Here are some examples.
Once again try repeating each one after me:

Success
Circulate
Clearance
Bicycle
Vacancy
Garage
Gauge
Geography
Gigantic
and Gorgeous

When a hard pronunciation is required, but the following letter would normally make it soft, then we sometimes add an h after the letter c, as in: architect, or the letter u after the g, as in: guest. In some cases, the following letter is doubled, as in: outrigger.

These rules also explain some difficult spellings. George, guest, and trigger, could not be spelled: Gorge or gest or triger and still retain their pronunciation. Also, it can now be seen why: sag, rag and: sage and rage are spelled, and pronounced the way they are.

As always in English, there are some exceptions to these rules, and these mostly involve giving hard pronunciation to words where the rule would normally require the soft sound. These exceptions include:

Celt
Celtic
Gear
Get
Gelding
Give
Girl
Gift
Gigabytes
Tiger

Then there are some words which end with the letter: g, such as: banging, singing, and ringing, and in this case the: g is silent.

Other exceptions include some foreign words which have been adopted into the English language, such as: geisha.

So, now that you know how to pronounce words with hard and soft c's and g's, try chatting with some new friends on GoSpeakEnglish and ask them if they feel successful and gigantic, or gorgeous and juicy!

And that's the end of this lesson!

Now you can see if you've understood the video, and do the test on GoSpeakEnglish. You can also watch many other English video lessons on GoSpeakEnglish.

Thanks, and I hope to see you again soon!
 

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