K Letter Silhouette PNG Vector Transparent Images

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Uploaded on on Jun 17, 2021


K, or k, is the eleventh letter of the modern English alphabet and the basic Latin ISO alphabet. Its English name is kay (pronounced / ˈkeɪ /), plural kays. The letter K usually represents the silent velar plosive.

The letter K comes from the Greek letter Κ (kappa), which was taken from the Semitic kaph, the symbol of an open hand. This, in turn, was probably adapted by the Semitic tribes who lived in Egypt from the hieroglyph for “hand,” representing / ḏ / in the Egyptian word for hand, ⟨ḏ-rt⟩ (probably pronounced / ˈcʼaːɾat / in Ancient Egyptian ). The Semites have apparently given it the value of the / k / sound because their word for hand begins with this sound.

In the first Latin inscriptions, the letters C, K, and Q were used to represent the sounds / k / and / ɡ / (which were not differentiated in writing). Of these, Q is used before a rounded vowel (e.g., ⟨EQO⟩ ‘ego’), K before / a / (e.g., ⟨KALENDIS⟩ ‘calendis’) and C elsewhere. Later, the use of C and its variant G replaced most uses of K and Q. K survived only in a few fossilized forms, such as Kalendae, “the calends”.

After the Greek words were taken into Latin, Kappa was transliterated as C. Words borrowed from other alphabets with the sound / k / were transliterated with C. Therefore, Romance languages ​​usually use C, in imitating the practice of classical Latin and have K only in the latest borrowings from other language groups. Celtic languages ​​also tend to use C instead of K, and this influence is transferred to Old English.


English is now the only Germanic language that uses productively “hard” ⟨c⟩ (outside the digraph ⟨ck⟩) and not ⟨k⟩ (although Dutch uses it in borrowed words of Latin origin and the pronunciation of these words follows the same difficult/soft distinction as in English).

The letter ⟨k⟩ is silent at the beginning of an English word when it comes before the letter ⟨n ace, as in words “knight,” “knife,” “knot,” “know,” and “knee.”

Like J, X, Q, and Z, the letter K is not used very often in English. This is the fifth most frequently used letter in English, with a word frequency of about 0.8%.


In the International System of Units (SI), the prefix SI to thousand is kil-, officially abbreviated ask: for example, with the prefix per metre/meter or its abbreviation m, kilometre or km means thousands of metres. As such, people sometimes represent numbers in a non-standard notation, replacing the last three zeros of the total number with K, as in 30K for 30,000.

Other languages

In most languages ​​where it is used, this letter represents the / k / sound (with or without aspiration) or some similar sound.

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