Pronunciations 05 - The Letter K
The letter K is the eleventh letter of the English alphabet and is a consonant with a particularly harsh sound. Perhaps, it is the least complicated of all letters in the sense that its pronunciation is straightforward and uncomplicated. It has only one sound with a little bit of variation on stress when used in particular words - the K sound, is as it appears in the words KING, BOOK, CAKE and TAKER.
By and large the sanctity of the K sound is maintained in all words where the K letter features. Normally, it is also the dominant sound when used with other letters. For instance, in BACK, ASK, TINKLE and CASKET.
The letter K holds itself even with letters such as H or N as the words KHAKI and SHANK prove.
The letter K has one significant contribution to the English language. It lends its sound to the letter C and to the combination of letters CH. When used with the letter C (as in SACK) the K sound is the dominant sound and the C is silent. Words such as CUT, ACORN and ATTIC do not have the K letter but use the K sound.
The only letter which dominates the letter K is the letter N. When it is placed before K, in words such as KNEE, KNOW, KNIT and KNOT, the K simply falls silent.
Play this quiz and check your knowledge of the letter K.