Hard and Soft C and G
The letters c and g can make spelling tricky. Each of these letters has a hard sound
hard c sound (kuh): cat, cup
hard g sound (guh): gap, goat
as well as a soft sound.
soft c sound (suh): cell, city
soft g sound (juh): gerbil, gym
Usually, a c or g sound is hard or soft depending on the vowel that follows it. Here's the general rule:
When c or g meets a, o, or u, its sound is hard.
cap, cave, colt, comedy, curly, cuddle
gas, gather, goblet, goddess, gum, gutter
When c or g meets e, i, or y, its sound is soft.
census, center, circle, citizen, cycle, cymbal
gel, general, giant, ginger, gypsy, gyrate
See also: Guide to Spelling.