This language lesson is designed for 6 to 12-year-old children. It helps them learn about the spelling rules of soft and hard ‘c’ and ‘g’.
Learning soft c and g application rules is an advanced skill in language lessons. Initially, children learn hard c and g sounds as in camel, cake, game, goat. The soft c and g tend to appear in words with more complex, multisyllabic roots that originate from Greek and Latin. Understanding how to decode spelling c and g rules enables children to read very complex words, such as geometry and cerebrum.
This video lesson helps the child learn about the distinct sounds of the hard and soft c and g. It also guides them about its usage rules.
Prerequisites to Learn Soft and Hard ‘C’ and ‘G’ Rules
Before the children are introduced with soft c and soft g sounds
- A child must understand the concept of voiced and unvoiced consonants, short and long vowels, as this would help the child comprehend the new sounds much more easily.
- A child should also be able to recognise each alphabet sound and words associated with them.
- A child should be able to form two-letter words or CVC words.
- A child should also know the concept of closed and VCE syllables.
- The knowledge of ck and k generalization rules would help the child comprehend the concept of soft c effortlessly.
Once the children understand the phonemes, we can introduce vowels and consonants that have two sounds.
Soft and Hard ‘C’ and ‘G’ Sound Rules
In this video lesson, children will learn different sounds consonants ‘c’ and ‘g’ make. Generally, letters c and g sound depends on the letters that follow them in the word. Let us learn in detail.
Soft and Hard ‘C’ Rule
Letter c makes two sounds: /k/ or /s/.
- Hard c Rule: When the letter c is followed by letters a, o, or u, it makes the hard sound /k/. For example, cup, coat, carrot, cow, can, and curly. It is an unvoiced sound.
- Soft c Rule: When c is followed by letters i, y, or e, it makes the soft sound and says /s/. For example, cerebrum, cycle, circus, cereal, pencil, and race. It is also an unvoiced sound.
Forming Words Starting with Soft ‘C’
- c + e + ll = cell
- c + i + t + y = city
- c + y + c + le = cycle
- c + i + tr + u + s = citrus
- c + y + m + b + al = cymbal
- c + e + r + ea + l =cereal
Forming words with Hard ‘C’
- c + al +m = calm
- c + o + n + e = cone
- c + ur + l = curl
- c + ur + v + e = curve
- c + a + s + t + le = castle
- c + a + rr + o = t = carrot
Soft and Hard ‘G’ Rule
Letter g makes two sounds: /g/ or /j/.
- Hard g Rule: When letter g is followed by letters a, o, or u, it makes the hard g sound like /g/. For example, gum, goat, gas, gutter, game. It is a voiced sound.
- Soft g Rule: When g is followed by i, y, or e, it makes the soft g sound and says /j/. For example, giant, giraffe, magic, Egypt, gist, geometry, gym, germ gypsy, and gem. It is also a voiced sound.
Forming words with Soft ‘G’
- g + e + ll = gell
- g + ia + n + t = giant
- g + y + m = gym
- g + i + st = gist
- g + e + m = gem
- g + y + p + sy = gypsy
Forming words with Hard ‘G’
- g + u + m = gum
- g +a + t + e = gate
- g + ea + r = gear
- gr + a + p + e = grape
- g + a + m + e = game
- gr + ou + p = group
To summarize the difference between hard and soft ‘c’ and ‘g’ sound rules, read the table below –
|Letter C||Letter G|
|Hard Sound||Unvoiced consonant. Followed by a, o, u||Voiced consonant
Followed by a, o, u
|Examples||Class, cup, fact, crave||Good, great, grip, plug|
|Soft Sound||Unvoiced consonant. Followed by e, i, and y||Voiced consonant. Followed by e, i, and y|
|Examples||Cell, city, cycle||Magic, gem, gym|
Exceptions to the Hard and Soft ‘C’ and ‘G’ Sound Rules
The English language has many rules and so are the exceptions to them.
There are some words that do not follow the above rules of hard and soft ‘c’ and ‘g’ rules.
- Words like girl, gift, get, begin. Here, the letter g is followed by vowels i and e, but does not make the soft g sound, /j/. It makes the usual hard g sound, /g/.
- Words like soccer, where c is followed by vowel e, but does not produce the soft c sound, /s/. It makes the usual hard c sound, /k/.
- When the letters c and g are followed by e, i, or y, and we need to make the hard sound instead of soft, then h is added after c to convert soft /s/ sound to hard /k/ sound. For example, architect, and chemistry.
- When letter u is added after letter g, soft /j/ sound is converted to hard /g/ sound. For example, guest, guinea, and guilt.
- Sometimes, the letters g and c are also doubled. For example, trigger, bigger, occur, and occupation.
Words Including Both Hard and Soft ‘C’ and ‘G’ Sounds
There are some words that have both the hard and soft ‘ c’ and ‘g’ sounds. For example,
- Hard and soft ‘ c’ sound: success, circulate, clearance, recycle, reconcile, vacancy.
- Hard and soft ‘ g’ sound: gauge, geography, gigantic, gorgeous, garage, ginger.
Hard and Soft ‘C’ and ‘G’ Sound Reading Readiness
To comprehend the hard and soft ‘c’ and ‘g’ sound properly, it is necessary for the children to understand long vowels, short vowels, vowel combinations, and syllables. The following questions will be helpful in deciding which sound should be used:
- Is this word have the letter c or g or both?
- Is the letter c or g followed by e, i, or y?
- Is the letter c or g followed by a, o or u?
If the letter c or g is followed by e, i, or y, then it will produce the soft sounds, /s/ or /j/ respectively.
Mastering the rules of the English language takes time. The above rules are firmly ingrained in a child with ample practice and tasks. Adding activities to a child’s daily routine can help them remember this rule.
Some ideas to help the child understand the Hard and Soft ‘C’ and ‘G’ Sound Rule
Hard and soft ‘c’ and ‘g’ sound rules are consistent rules in English. To make this learning multisensory and memorable, include the use of hand gestures or props.
- Colors – When introducing the concept of hard and soft sounds, use colors or materials to distinguish between them. For example, represent hard ‘c’ with the color red and soft ‘c’ with the color blue. Alternatively, use wooden letters to represent hard sounds and plastic letters for soft sounds. Form words using these letters and encourage children to read as much as possible.
- Make a picture chart: Create a chart with words that combine the sounds of hard and soft c. Have the child read each word aloud and distinguish between the hard and soft sounds of the letter c. For added fun, allow the child to color the hard c sounds in green and the soft c sounds in pink.
Repeat this activity by asking the child to practice the spelling rules with different words of the English language as shown in the video.
Related Video Resources
To watch more language video resources, click here.
Video Created by: Justine McNeilly
- What is Soft and hard c and g?
A soft ‘c’ is pronounced as /s/. For example – cell, cement, cycle.
A hard ‘c’ is pronounced as /k/. For example – cake, come, crate, camel.
A soft ‘g’ is pronounced as /j/. For example – general, giant, gym, gem.
A hard ‘g’ is pronounced as /g/. For example – game, great, grip, grant.
- How to distinguish between soft g and hard g sounds?
The sound of the letter g depends on the letters that follow them in the word.
When g is followed by e, i, or y it makes a soft sound as in giraffe.
When g is followed by a, o, or u it makes a hard sound as in gate.
- How to distinguish between soft c and hard c sounds?
The sound of the letter c depends on the letters that follow them in the word.
When c is followed by e, i, or y it makes a soft sound as in cement.
When c is followed by a, o, or u it makes a hard sound as in camel.
- What are soft g rule exceptions?
The following is an exception to the soft g rule –
In words, like a girl, get the letter g is followed by i and e but produces the usual hard sound /g/
- What are soft c rule exceptions?
The following is an exception to the soft c rule –
In the word soccer, the letter c is followed by e but produces the usual hard sound /k/
- elementary level
- english language
- spelling generalization