how to pronounce q sound

This pronunciation lesson is designed for 3-6-year-old children to help them pronounce the letter ‘q’ using its phonic sound.

Learning phonic sounds is important for children as this helps them read faster and more fluently. This is the first step in learning spelling and vocabulary.

In our previous video lesson, we learned about phonics, the importance of learning phonics, and the phonic sound of the alphabet till the letter ‘p’. This video lesson is the 17th in a row of learning the sound of letters. 

Why Phonics?

Phonics is a proven way of teaching that helps children read effectively. It teaches children to decode letters of the words easily when pronounced verbally and teaches them how words are formed.

Learning phonics helps the child prepare for more complex reading and reciting. It also teaches the science behind word formation and pronunciation to avoid errors that will hinder their communication.

How to Pronounce ‘q’ Sound?

Q is a consonant, and generally, it has two sounds to be pronounced with

  • The sound of ‘q’ is /kw/. 

The letter ‘q’ is pronounced as /kw/ in words like queer, quiet, question, quip, queue, quiet, quail, aquavit, Aquarius, aquatic, quest, acquire, etc.

To make this sound –

 The first sound is /kw/, which is made by placing the back of the tongue against the soft palate at the back of your mouth. Push air out of your mouth against the back of your tongue, and then release the air. At the same time, you need to make a /w/ sound. This sound is made by rounding the lips into a circular shape, and then widening them as you push air out of your mouth. 

Your vocal cords do not vibrate when you make the /k/, but you should start vibrating them when you make the /w/. This is a quick transition and will take practice.

  • The second sound letter of the letter ‘q’ is /k/ 

Most English words pronounce the qu as a combination of the K and the W. However, some words pronounce the qu as a K without the W.

This sound is used in words like antique, qindarka, Quran, Qatar, quiche, etc. 

To make this /k/ sound, raise the back of your tongue to touch the roof of your mouth and then release. The sound [k] is made with the breath.

How to Introduce the Pronunciation of the ‘q’ to the Child?

  1. Invite the child to the table and tell them, today we are going to learn the sound of the letter ‘q’ produces.
  2. Show the child how the letter ‘q’ looks like and what is the sound of the letter ‘q’.
  3. Say it several times by producing the /kw/ and /k/sounds.
  4. Ask the child to repeat the sound after you.
  5. Show the child a picture or miniature of words starting with q such as a queen. 
  6. Repeat the sound of ‘q’ every time while showing the image of the queen. 
  7. Now show another picture that starts with q and again pronounce the letter ‘q’ sound.
  8. Encourage the child to make the sound of ‘q’ whenever the picture is shown to them.

Other Ways to Introduce the Letter q to the Child

  1. Q is for quilt- give some broad strips of paper or rough cloth to the children and ask them to weave by intersecting each other as in a mat. They can decorate the borders and make a quilt for the doll or teddy. As they weave along let the pronounce q for quilt.
  2. Q is for quack – let the children go for duck jumping and each time they jump they should sound loud q-quack
  3. Q is for quarter- give 4 craft papers cut into quarter shapes to the children and ask them to join together to form a circle. This way the child would understand the quarter of a whole circle also. Ask them to keep pronouncing q- quarter as they progress while making a circle.
  4. Doing some coloring activities in Q-shaped arts could be fun and help the children to develop motor skills as they sound q

This video allows the child to explore the short consonant sound of the English letter ‘Q’ and learn words starting with it, such as queen, quilt, and quartz. The sounds are repeated for each word so that the child can hear and pronounce the letter accurately.

 Related Pronunciation Videos:

  1. Pronunciation of the letter ‘j’
  2. Pronunciation of the letter ‘g’
  3. Pronunciation of the letter ‘l’
  4. Pronunciation of the letter ‘p’

For more pronunciation and English language resources, click here

Video created by: Strykun Olena


  • Is Q voiced or voiceless?

Q is a voiceless consonant. 

    1. The voiced consonants are b, d, g, l, r, m, n, z, and consonantal i, and v.
    2. The voiceless consonants are p, t, c (k, q), f, h, s, and x.
  • What letter does Q sound like?

In English, the letter Q is always followed by the letter U and has two sounds. For most English words, the pronunciation of “qu” is a combination of the sounds of K and W. However, there are a few words in which the “qu” sounds like K without the W.

  • How many sounds can Q make?

In English, the letter Q is usually followed by the letter U, and together they make a single sound, /kw/. However, in some loanwords from other languages, such as Arabic or Chinese, Q can be pronounced as a glottal stop or a /k/ sound.

  • What is silent Q?

Silent Q refers to the letter “Q” in English words that is not pronounced. In certain words, such as “queue,” “quiche,” and “mosquito,” the letter “Q” is silent and does not have a specific sound associated with it.

  • What are the two sounds of Q?

The letter Q has two sounds in English. The most common is the “kw” sound, as in “queen” or “quick”. The second sound is the “k” sound, which is used in words borrowed from other languages, such as “qat” or “qi”.


  • English
  • english language
  • phonic sound
  • primary level
  • pronunciation