Unvoiced velar stop
In English, both in Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /k/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "kiss", "cold" and "question" and the final one in "book" and "black". There are also a few words, mostly from Ancient Greek, where it corresponds to the digraph "ch".
Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /k/ include the following:
- with "c"
- at the beginning of the word: call - clock - coat - come - cross - cut
- in the middle of the word: economy - education - fact - include - secret - security
- at the end of the word: basic - economic - music - public - specific
- with "cc": accommodation - account - accuse - occasion - occupy - occur
- with "k"
- as the last sound of the syllable: ankle - bake - book - break - dark - like - look - oak - shake - shark - sink - take - walk - week - weekly - work
- before "e" or "i": donkey - keep - kill - kind - kiss - kitchen - skin - speaker - market - worker
- exceptionally before "a", "o", "u", "l" or "r" in the same syllable: chakra /ˈtʃʌkrə/ - haiku - kangaroo - Kansas - karate - koala - Korea - okay - Oklahoma - remarkable
- with "ck": attack - black- check - lock - luck - rock - sock - shock - sick - stick - thick - ticket
- with "ch": ache - archive - chaos - chemical - chemist - chemistry - psychology - stomach - technician - technology
- with "qu": quarter - liquor - technique /tekˈniːk/ - conquer
- with "cq": acquaintance - acquire
- exceptionally with "kk": trekking
- initial and final /k/: cake - click - clock - cook - cork - crack - crook - kick - quick
The sequence /ks/ can be spelled in several forms.
- Same syllable
- with "x": box - complex - fix - matrix - mix - next - relax - tax
- with "ks": books - breaks - cooks - looks - seeks - thanks - walks - weeks
- with "cks": attacks - checks - clocks - locks - packs - rocks - shocks
- with "cs": critics - mathematics - plastics - politics - statistics - topics
- with "chs": matriarchs - monarchs - patriarchs - stomachs
- Different syllables
- with "x": exclude - experience - galaxy - maximum - taxi
- with "xc": excel - excellent - except - excess
- with "cc": accept - accident - eccentric - success
- with "ks": bookstore
- with "cks": backstage
- with "cs": facsimile /fækˈsɪməliː/
- with "chs": dachshund
Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1
Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following section aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.
The main "problem" here is that Spanish speakers tend to forget that "ch" can, in just a few words, also be pronounced /k/, and will invariably pronounce "ache" with /tʃ/, as if it were a homophone of the letter "h".
- "disgusting". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc.