Spelling the /k/ sound before a vowel: is it c or k?

spell c or k before a vowel? spell c or k before a vowel?
Why is it c in cat... ... but k in kitten?
Teaching point

Did you know, we use /k/ to show this sound that starts both cat and kitten but the most common spelling choice for it is c not k?!

If the vowel after the /k/ is a, o or u, we usually use c:

Examples:

call, carrot
co
py, colour (US color)
cu
p, cucumber

If the vowel is e or i, we usually use k.

Examples:

keep, kettle
kilt, kitchen

If a c is followed by e or i then it makes the /s/ sound.

Examples:

certain
circle, cinema

If the next letter is a consonant e.g. r or l , we almost always use c.

crab, cricket, crumb
club, close, clap

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Unit 2: Spelling the consonant sounds, part 1

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