Lesson 39: Soft ‘g’
English Jade: Practice Soft /g/

In this lesson, we will learn the pronunciation and spelling of soft <g> words. These are words that are spelt with a letter ‘g’ but pronounced with a /dʒ/ sound.

Let me break this down for you because it can be confusing.

The /dʒ/ sound is in my name, ‘Jade Joddle’ /eɪd ɒd.əl/. As you can see from the example of my name, the /dʒ/ sound is most commonly spelt with a letter ‘j’ in English.

However, the /dʒ/ sound is also spelt with a letter ‘g’ in some words. When this occurs, it is called a soft <g>. Here are some examples:

general                    /ˈdʒen.ər.əl/

giant                         /ˈdʒaɪ.ənt/

gym                           /dʒɪm/

age                             /eɪdʒ/

digit                          /ˈdɪdʒ.ɪt/ 

manage                   /ˈmæn.ɪdʒ/

Non-native speakers of English often mispronounce words with the letter ‘g’ in them because they don’t know the soft <g> and hard <g> rules of pronunciation. Here are two pronunciation rules for you to know:

  1. When <g> meets a, o, or u, its sound is usually hard.
  2. When <g> meets e, i, or y, its sound is usually soft.

However, as is usual with English pronunciation, there are plenty of exceptions to these rules. But don’t worry because I’m going to teach you the main ones!


Practice Soft ‘g’: Some Examples from the Lesson Recording

allergic: allergic reaction

gigantic: gigantic giraffe

energetic: energetic gym session

large: large gorge

genetic: genetic engineering

About Jade Joddle Jade Joddle is a speech and voice teacher who gives her non-native speaker clients back the confidence they had in their native language. She teaches high-level professionals to Speak Well in English so that they thrive and succeed.