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|Writing system||Latin script|
|Type||Alphabetic and Logographic|
|Language of origin||Latin language|
|Phonetic usage||[ k ]|
[ kʰ ]
[ kʼ ]
[ ɡ ]
|Time period||~-700 to present|
|Sisters|| К |
|Other letters commonly used with||k(x)|
K (named kay // ) is the eleventh letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. In English, the letter K usually represents the voiceless velar plosive.
A letter is a grapheme in an alphabetic system of writing. It is a visual representation of the smallest unit of spoken sound. Letters broadly correspond to phonemes in the spoken form of the language, although there is rarely a consistent, exact correspondence between letters and phonemes.
The modern English alphabet is a Latin alphabet consisting of 26 letters, each having an upper- and lower-case form. The same letters constitute the ISO basic Latin alphabet. The alphabet's current form originated in about the 7th century from the Latin script. Since then, various letters have been added, or removed, to give the current Modern English alphabet of 26 letters:
The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a Latin-script alphabet and consists of two sets of 26 letters, codified in various national and international standards and used widely in international communication. They are the same letters that comprise the English alphabet.
| Egyptian |
| Proto-Semitic |
| Phoenician |
| Etruscan |
The letter K comes from the Greek letter Κ (kappa), which was taken from the Semitic kaph, the symbol for an open hand. /k/ instead, because their word for hand started with that sound.This, in turn, was likely adapted by Semitic tribes who had lived in Egypt from the hieroglyph for "hand" representing D in the Egyptian word for hand, d-r-t. The Semites evidently assigned it the sound value
Kappa is the 10th letter of the Greek alphabet, used to represent the  sound in Ancient and Modern Greek. In the system of Greek numerals, Kʹ has a value of 20. It was derived from the Phoenician letter kaph
Kaf is the eleventh letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Kāp 𐤊
The ancient Egyptian Hand (hieroglyph) is an alphabetic hieroglyph with the meaning of "d"; it is also used in the word for 'hand', and actions that are performed, i.e. by the 'way of one's hands', or actions.
In the earliest Latin inscriptions, the letters C, K and Q were all used to represent the sounds /k/ and /ɡ/ (which were not differentiated in writing). Of these, Q was used to represent /k/ or /ɡ/ before a rounded vowel, K before /a/, and C elsewhere. Later, the use of C and its variant G replaced most usages of K and Q. K survived only in a few fossilized forms such as Kalendae, "the calends".
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
The calends or kalends is the first day of every month in the Roman calendar. The English word calendar is derived from this word.
After Greek words were taken into Latin, the Kappa was transliterated as a C. Loanwords from other alphabets with the sound /k/ were also transliterated with C. Hence, the Romance languages generally use C, in imitating Classical Latin's practice, and have K only in later loanwords from other language groups. The Celtic languages also tended to use C instead of K, and this influence carried over into Old English.
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by medieval Greek.
The Romance languages are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth centuries and that form a subgroup of the Italic languages within the Indo-European language family.
The Celtic languages are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic. They form a branch of the Indo-European language family. The term "Celtic" was first used to describe this language group by Edward Lhuyd in 1707, following Paul-Yves Pezron, who made the explicit link between the Celts described by classical writers and the Welsh and Breton languages.
Today, English is the only Germanic language to productively use "hard" ⟨c⟩ (outside the digraph ⟨ck⟩) rather than ⟨k⟩ (although Dutch uses it in loaned words of Latin origin, and the pronunciation of these words follows the same hard/soft distinction as in English).[ citation needed ] The letter ⟨k⟩ is silent at the start of an English word when it comes before the letter ⟨n⟩, as in the words "knight," "knife," "knot," "know," and "knee". Like J, X, Q, and Z, K is not used very frequently in English. It is the fifth least frequently used letter in the English language, with a frequency of about 0.8% in words.
In English orthography, the letter ⟨k⟩ normally reflects the pronunciation of  and the letter ⟨g⟩ normally is pronounced or "hard" ⟨g⟩, as in goose, gargoyle and game; or "soft" ⟨g⟩, generally before ⟨i⟩ or ⟨e⟩, as in giant, ginger and geology; or in some words of French origin, such as rouge, beige and genre. However, silent ⟨k⟩ and ⟨g⟩ occur because of apheresis, the dropping of the initial sound of a word.
The SI prefix for a thousand is kilo-, officially abbreviated as k—for instance, prefixed to "metre" or its abbreviation m, kilometre or km signifies a thousand metres. As such, people occasionally represent numbers in a non-standard notation by replacing the last three zeros of the general numeral with "K": for instance, 30K for 30,000.
In most languages where it is employed, this letter represents the sound /k/ (with or without aspiration) or some similar sound.
The International Phonetic Alphabet uses ⟨k⟩ for the voiceless velar plosive.
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech-language pathologists, singers, actors, constructed language creators and translators.
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER K||LATIN SMALL LETTER K||KELVIN SIGN|
|UTF-8||75||4B||107||6B||226 132 170||E2 84 AA|
|Numeric character reference||K||K||k||k||K||K|
F is the sixth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
G is the 7th letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
M is the thirteenth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
N is the fourteenth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
O is the 15th letter and the fourth vowel in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
P is the 16th letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
T is the 20th letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is derived from the Semitic letter taw via the Greek letter tau. In English, it is most commonly used to represent the voiceless alveolar plosive, a sound it also denotes in the International Phonetic Alphabet. It is the most commonly used consonant and the second most common letter in English-language texts.
U is the 21st letter and the fifth vowel in the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is preceded by T, and is followed by V.
V is the 22nd letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
W is the 23rd letter of the modern English and ISO basic Latin alphabets.
X is the 24th and antepenultimate letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
J is the tenth letter in the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. Its normal name in English is jay or, now uncommonly, jy. When used for the palatal approximant, it may be called yod or yot.