The King Covered in Ketchup
K is one of the trickiest letters and we can thank the Vikings for bringing it over and leaving it with us - eventhough we already had the letter C to make the hard /k/ sound! As you’ll see in future lessons, it is one of the silent letter pairs (kn), it can’t be doubled after a short vowel like most other consonants and it doesn’t play by the rules in a other ways too - but at least it always makes the hard /k/ sound, unlike several letters, including its friend C.
However, at the beginning of words, when you want to make the hard /k/ sound, there’s a good rule of thumb to help choose whether to use K or C. If the next letter is an I or E, then use K, if the next letter is anything else use C. Kids remember this by the name (and image), King Covered in Ketchup rule.
Sadly, names like Kate, Karen, Kamil don’t follow this rule and neither do imported words like: karaoke, karate, kangaroo, koala, kayak, but they are few and far between.