Listen to today’s lesson: Pronounce and Spell Hard /g/

In this lesson, we will learn the pronunciation and spelling of words with a /g/ sound. This is also sometimes known as the pronunciation of hard <g>.

  • In most cases, the sound /g/ is spelt with a single letter <g>.

got                             give                           leg                              peg

  • /g/ is also sometimes spelt as double ‘g’ <gg> in words that are longer than one syllable.

 bigger                     dagger                     giggle                       mugger

  • The /g/ sound may also be spelt as <gu>. 

guilt                          guitar                       guy                            guard

  • The /g/ sound is also occasionally spelt as <gh> in foreign loan words.

 ghost                       ghetto                     gherkin                   dinghy

How to Pronounce /g/

The sounds /g/ and /k/ are learnt together as they are articulated in the same part of the mouth. To make these two sounds, the tongue blade makes contact with the soft palate. 

Another way to describe how I make this sound is as follows:

I use the back of my tongue to touch the soft tissue at the back of my mouth. This is as far back as my tongue can comfortably bend. The back of my tongue is raised and bent, and the front of my tongue is low down behind my teeth. My tongue is tense as I briefly make contact with the back of the soft palate.

/g/ /k/   /g/ /k/   /g/ /k/   /g/ /k/

When making a /g/ sound:

  • The tongue is flatter against the palate and there is more pressure.
  • There are vibrations in this sound: /g/ is a voiced consonant.

When making a /k/ sound:

  • The tongue is tenser and contact with the palate is a quick touch.
  • There is also the sound of air being released: /k/ is an unvoiced consonant.

Practice Hard /g/: Some Examples from the Lesson Recording

gate: green garden gate

good: good as gold

gaga: granny’s going gaga

gregarious: gregarious Greg

aggressive: aggressive moggy

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Jade Joddle is an accent trainer and English teacher. She teaches her non-native speaker clients to Speak Well in English so that they thrive and succeed.

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