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Unit 20: The soft c sound: ce ci cy words

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Unit 20: Soft c: ce, ci and cy words

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Unit 20 - Spelling ce, ci and cy words - the soft c sound

The letter c is used to spell two sounds:

  1. the hard sound /k/ as in cap and cottage
  2. the 'soft' sound /s/ as in city and face

This unit covers the 'soft' sound of c.

Help spelling English words with soft sound c Help spelling English words with soft sound c
  as in city as in face

Teaching point The sound /s/ can be spelled with either s or c.

There is no one clear rule that tells us which to use, but there are some pointers:

1. If the next letter is a consonant, we must use s:

scream skill snore spider stage switch

2. If the next letter is the vowel a, o or u, we must use s:

Saturday sorry suggest

3. But if the next letter is the vowel e, i or y, it could be s or c:

selfish silly symbol
century cigarette cycle

This unit will focus on the most common ce, ci and cy words.

-ce on the ends of words

Look at the three lists below:

  1. Words with a vowel before -ce
  2. Words with the common endings -nce and -rce.
  3. Words with the sound /iss/. This is spelled iss in bliss, hiss, miss, kiss but in longer words the most common spelling is ice.

Read them aloud, listening for the soft c /s/ sound.

Use the icons to help you learn the ones you don’t already know ready for the activity that follows.

Help spelling English words with soft sound c Help spelling English words with soft sound c Help spelling English words with soft sound c
ce as in face nce as in dance ice as in notice
Ace
lace
pace
race
brace
grace
space
sauce*
voice
choice
peace*
piece*
juice
ice
dice
lice
mice
nice
rice
vice
slice
spice
price
twice
advice
device
entice
sacrifice
Learn the Words:
Study this word list 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' spelling exercise English spelling games spelling test

chance
France
glance
prance
stance
advance
instance
fence
pence
commence
sentence
mince
since
prince
wince
convince
once
ounce
bounce
pounce
trounce
announce
pronounce

Learn the Words:
Study this word list 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' spelling exercise English spelling games spelling test

Please see page 13
for more -nce words.


Words ending in -rce

farce
force
fierce
pierce
scarce
source*
resource
coerce
commerce
divorce

Learn the Words:
Study this word list 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' spelling exercise English spelling games spelling test
Alice
bodice
hospice
justice
lattice
malice
novice
office
service
solstice
accomplice
apprentice
precipice
prejudice
police
Learn the Words:
Study this word list 'Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check' spelling exercise English spelling games spelling test

Rule breakers break spelling rules

promise

Odd words:
furnace
menace
necklace
palace
surface
terrace
lettuce
police

Words marked * are homophones. Please see page 12

You have not completed a Learn the Words activity for each word list on this page.

When you are confident you know how to spell the words, click the arrow to continue.

next part of the spelling course
Take a test in these -ce words.

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