The k Sound (/k/ Phoneme)

Hi there this is the k sound. As in the words:

  • can /kæn/
  • come /kʌm/
  • kid /kɪd/

The /k/ is a sound from the ‘Consonants Pairs’ group and it is called the ‘Voiceless velar stop’. This means that you use the back of the tongue to block airflow from the throat.

How to pronounce the k sound

The /k/ sound is made through the mouth and it is Unvoiced which means that you don’t use your vocal chords to make the sound.

It is defined by position of your tongue and it is a stop sound, which is a sound made by building up air pressure by stopping air flow and then releasing it. In this case you stop the airflow between the middle of the tongue and the top of the mouth.

To produce the sound push the tongue forward so the middle curls up and touches the top of your mouth and blocks air flow, at the same time create some air pressure by gently trying to breathe out. The sound is made when you release the pressure by dropping the tongue down.

How the k sound is Spelled

The /k/ phoneme is normally spelled with the letter ‘c’ or ‘k’ as in the words:

  • call /kɔːl/
  • week /wiːk/

But it can also be spelled with the letters ‘q-u’ as in:

  • require /rɪˈkwaɪə/

or with an ‘x’ as in the word ‘six’. As in the words:

  • six /sɪks/

Examples of the k sound

Here are some words with the k sound in the middle:

  • become /bɪ’kʌm/
  • school /skuːl/
  • box /bɒks/
  • socks /sɒks/

Here are some words with the k sound at the end /k/ sound:

  • make /meɪk/
  • think /θɪŋk/
  • take /teɪk/
  • like /laɪk/

So, that’s it for the /k/ sound.

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