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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, www.engvid.com. Bye-bye.
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Learn English: Does the C sound like S or K?

2790 Folder Collection
Ashley Chen published on December 29, 2014
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