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  • Hello. I'm not sick of jumping up and down. Are you? Let's do more. My name is Ronnie.

  • I'm going to teach you something that I'm really quite excited to teach you. I'm a little

  • bit insane. That's fine. For years, people have been asking me, "Ronnie, how do you know

  • -- when you see the written letter C -- whether you say it like an S or like a K?"

  • "I don't know. I have no idea." So then, I thought about when I was a child. How did I know that,

  • for example, my country Canada is "k" and not "sanada"? Probably because I hear people

  • saying "kanada" and not "sanada". So I had the advantage of listening to people speak

  • English around me. You don't have that advantage maybe. So I have found it, the answer to this

  • question that has been plaguing me for years. I'm going to share it with you. Please do

  • not get as excited as I am right now. Do not jump. I dare you not to jump. So check it

  • out, C pronunciation. Here we go.

  • Sometimes, it sounds like an S. But sometimes, it sounds like a K. How the hell are you going

  • to know what to do? This is the game. So we have a beautiful list of vowels. So we have

  • A, E, I, 0, U, and sometimes Y is a vowel. If your word has a C and an A for example,

  • very basic, "cat". If your word has a C and an E -- for example "center", "cell", or "cereal",

  • it's going to sound like an S. If your C word has C and A, it's a K. If your C word has

  • an I, it's going to sound like an S. If it's followed by an O, it's a K. U, it's a K. And

  • Y, it's an S. So let's check out our new theory.

  • If your word has C followed by the vowel E like this, this sound is actually going to

  • be S, not "ch" or "k". We don't say "kenter", we say "center". Why? Don't ask me. I've just

  • figured out how. And this word, "cell", like a cell phone, is actually an S. So it's also

  • a homophone, meaning the word "sell" as in "to sell something to someone" has the exact

  • same pronunciation as your cell phone. So you can sell your cell phone. Bad joke. You love it.

  • So "center", because we have CE, "cell" because we have CE, and delicious morning food, "cereal",

  • because it has CE is always going to sound like an S. Yay.

  • Next one. C plus I -- for example, the word "city" -- because it's CI, it's going to sound

  • like "city". We have to be really careful again between the S and the SH. It is a sound

  • "s", not "ch". You don't want to say "shitty"; you want to say "city".

  • This word, "cigar", which is a big, fat cigarette -- "cigarette". Hello. It's an S word. -- is

  • going to follow the S rule. Oh, "cilantro". Do you know what "cilantro" is? It's a really,

  • really delicious herb. It is common in Mexico and in Thailand and in India. Delicious. Cilantro

  • is an herb, and it makes an S sound because it's CI together. Cool.

  • Next one. These words have the CY. Now, like I said, sometimes, Y is a vowel. Now, before

  • I get all crazy and freak out because this is amazing, we must understand one thing in

  • English all the time. There are rules, and there are patterns or methods, but there are

  • also exceptions to these rules and patterns and methods. So this is not 100 percent for

  • all of the vowels and all of the time. But it's a really, really good guideline to help you figure it out.

  • So this word is "cyber". If you're watching me right now, we're in cyberspace. It's not

  • "kyber"; it's "cyber". And the next one is "cynical". Do you know what "cynical" means?

  • "Cynical" basically means that you think negatively about everything. So if you're cynical like

  • I am, you think, "I'm never going to figure out the difference between S and K. Oh, I

  • just did." So don't be cynical. You can do it.

  • And the next one is -- if you play the drums, the hi-hat is a "cymbal". But you go, "Hey,

  • Ronnie. You spelled that wrong. It's s-y-m-b-a-l." It's not like that. It's actually c-y-m-b-a-l.

  • Do you play the drums? Do you want to start a band? Go to it. "Cymbal".

  • So this is the rule. C plus E, C plus I, C plus Y -- S sound.

  • Let's try out the theory of the K, shall we? So K plus A, K plus O, and K plus U -- K plus

  • A, "Meow", "cat". We can't say "sat". We can't say "kat". It's a cat. This word is a chicken

  • amongst other things. It is the word "cock". So the word "cock" is not "sock" because that's

  • the thing you wear on your foot. Please don't put your cock on your foot. And it's a K sound.

  • If you want to take a taxi, it's also called a "cab". Not a "sab", a "cab". This is a CA,

  • CA. We have another example of the CO -- like "cock" -- "coast". The coast is the area where

  • the land meets the ocean or the sea, the coastline.

  • The next word is the CU -- "See you later!" -- a CU combination, and this word is "cube".

  • "Cube" is a three-dimensional -- I should be an artist. I've decided. I've never been

  • able to do a cube. A "cube" is a three-dimensional square. And the last one, "cute". It's not

  • "sute"; it's "cute".

  • So all you have to do is look at the vowels. After the C, if the vowel is E, I, and Y,

  • it's going to sound like an S. After the C, if we've A, O, and U,

  • your word is going to sound like a K.

  • Let's see if you got this. Test time. This word -- I'm not going to tell you how to say

  • the word, but let's look at our rules. So the very first one is -- we've a C plus an

  • I. C plus I. Good. C plus I is S. Uh-ho. We have another C. What are we going to do with

  • the other C? Let's check. We have a C plus a U. C plus U -- K. So by our theory, we should

  • say this word "circus". Yes. That is right. Lots of elephants and clowns. Go to the circus.

  • You can now say it.

  • If you have any questions about this, please comment. Please ask me questions. Please visit

  • the website, Bye-bye.

Hello. I'm not sick of jumping up and down. Are you? Let's do more. My name is Ronnie.

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A2 US sound cynical cock cube vowel cilantro

Learn English: Does the C sound like S or K?

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    Ashley Chen posted on 2014/12/29
Video vocabulary