How to Pronounce the /k/ Sound

Here, we will learn all there is about the /k/ sound. Do you wanna improve your English language proficiency? Let's go, then.

How to Pronounce the /k/ Sound

In this lesson, we are going to learn about how to pronounce the /k/ sound using the proper articulatory organs.

What Type of Sound Is /k/?

/k/ is a consonant in the English language.

How to Produce /k/?

how to pronounce /k/

As you can see in the picture (b), the tongue plays an important role in the production of the /k/ sound. The back of the tongue is raised till it touches the soft palate. Note that the air is blocked so it can move neither through the nose nor through the mouth. The tip of the tongue does not make contact anywhere. When the tongue lowers itself, the air behind it is released forcefully. So, the /k/ sound is produced from the mouth. Also note that the circle of the vocal cords in the throat is grey, signifying that we do not need to vibrate our vocal cords in the process. So, it is voiceless.
As you can see in the picture (a), the lips are parted and the teeth are slightly close, but not touching.
In picture (c), you can easily recognize the soft palate where you should place the back of your tongue when producing the /k/ sound. Below are the letters that represent the /k/ sound:

cut /kʌt/

Cauldron /kɑːl.drən/

Coddle /kɑd·əl/

Book /bʊk/

Killer /kɪl·ər/

Kind /kaɪnd/

  • c + k: ck

Clock /klɑːk/

Block /blɑːk/

Back /bæk/

Peck /pek/

Stomach /stʌm.ək/

Chorus /kɔːr.əs/

Psychology /saɪˈkɑː.lə.dʒi/

Tip!

It might come in handy to know that the letter /C/ has two sounds. If it has a /k/ sound, it is called hard C and when it sounds like /s/, it is called soft C. Look below:

License /lɑɪ·səns/

Cake /keɪk/

/k/ Sound in 17 Most Common World Languages

Below you can find the table of the /k/ sound in 17 most common languages across the globe. Look:

The Languages Do You Have It? Examples
Mandarin X -
Spanish casa
Hindustani काम / کام
Bengali X -
Portuguese corpo
Russian короткий
Japanese
Vietnamese cam
Marathi कवच
Turkish kulak
French cabinet
German Käfig
Italian casa
Persian کارد
Arabic (Standard) كتب
Korean 감자

Listening

Below, there is an audio file that helps you learn the proper pronunciation of the /k/ sound:

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