There are many ways to spell /k/, and there is no specific rule to know when spelling words with this sound. It is necessary to cue the phonogram needed to spell words with this sound because students are not expected to know which spelling to use intuitively.
Consider Spelling Patterns for C and K
When spelling with the phonograms c or k, some spelling patterns can help.
- K is the most common spelling of the sound /k/ after a consonant, after a multi-letter vowel, and after a long vowel sound.
- C is the most common spelling of the sound /k/ at the beginning of the word.
- K is used to spell words at the beginning of a word, primarily before an E, I, or Y.
Using Spelling Rule 1
This Logic of English rule states: C always softens to /s/ before an E, I, or Y; otherwise, C says /k/.
Is there a Spelling Rule for when to use a K?Many beginning reading programs use an inverse of Spelling Rule 1 for spelling words with k. Though many words spell /k/ using k before e, i, or y and c before an a, o, u, or before a consonant, there are numerous words, including foreign loan words, that deviate from the pattern.
Logic of English only teaches reliable rules that do not create exceptions. If there was a rule that directed students to spell words with a k before e, i, or y, too many exceptions would be created.
Using Spelling Rule 26
Using CH to Represent /k/
Multiple words in English use ch to represent /k/. The words that use ch to represent /k/ typically are of Greek origin.