learn italian

explanation vocabulary / grammar video show / hide

  2.5 The 'c'

The way this letter is pronounced depends on the following vowel.

ci is tchi (cinque = five, like chicken in English)
ce is tche (centro = center, similar to chain in English, but with a closed, pure e)

ca is ka (casa = house, similar like car in English, but with an open a)
co is ko (come = as, similar like cold in English, but with an open o)
cu ist ku (cucina = kitchen, like cuckoo in English)

The combination chi / che appears, if the pronunciation is ki / ke. In these case an h is needed, otherwise it would be pronounced like ci / ce.

chi is ki (chiaro = clear)
che is ke (che vuoi? = what do you want ?)

Examples ci / ce
cervello = brain
salsiccia = sausage
ricevere = to receive
ciglio = lash

Examples ca / co / cu
colpa = fault
cacciare = to hunt
cuore = heart
costruire = to construct
before consonants c is pronounced k as well
croce = cross
chiave = key
clamore = noise

contact privacy statement imprint