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Rules and Tips to use the C letter in Spanish

There is a well-known difficulty in writing the letters C, S and Z in Spanish, since they are pronounced the same. A good spelling conveys a serious image of the text content you are presenting or sharing. That is why you must remember certain rules to write Spanish correctly.


Today we will share some rules and recommendations for the use of the letter C in Spanish. These are 12 rules that little by little and with practice, it will be easy for you to remember.

We use the letter C when...

  • All verbs that end with ‘cir’ and ‘ducir’ use letter C in Spanish. For example : conducir (drive), reducir (reduce), traducir (translate), producir (produce), decir (say). Exception : The word ‘asir’ which means GRAB uses the letter S.
  • All the words that end with ‘ancia’, ‘ancio’ and ‘encía’ use letter C in Spanish. For example : constancia (constancy), excelencia (excellency), cansancio (tiredness), fragancia (fragrance), distancia (distancy). Exceptions : ansia (anxiety) and Hortensia (Hydrangea).
  • The use of the letter C with the nouns with the suffix CIÓN is a slightly more extensive subject and deserves a separate article. But here we share the basic rule. Use the C in all the words that end in CIÓN, which are derived from nouns that end in 'to', 'tor' and ‘dar’. For example : compositor - composición (composition), admirador - admiración (admiration), distribuidor - distribución (distribution).
  • All the diminutive words ending in ‘cito’, ‘ecito’ and ‘ecillo’ if these proceed of a word without S at the end. For example : pez - pececito (little fish), dulce - dulcecito (little candy), flor - florecita (little flower).
  • All the words ending with ‘cida’, ‘cido’ and ‘cidio’. For example : amanecido (dawned), aparecida (appeared), establecido (established).
  • All the words ending in ‘cimiento’. For example : agradecimiento (gratitude), nacimiento (birth), enriquecimiento (enrichment), yacimiento (deposit of something...).
  • All the verbs ending in ‘cer’. For example : nacer (birth), retorcer (squiz), hacer (to do). Exceptions : toser (cough), coser (sew) and ser (to be).
  • All the verbs ending in ‘ciar’. For example : apreciar (appreciate), vaciar (to empty), negociar (negotiate), acariciar (to caress). Exceptions : lisiar (to cripple), ansiar (yearn), extasiar (entrance) and anestesiar (to anesthetize).
  • All the words ending in ‘acia’, ‘icia’, ‘icie’ and ‘icio’. For example : planicie (plain land), bullicio (bustle or hustle), pericia (expertise). Exceptions : gimnasio (gym) and eutanasia (euthanasia).
  • We use the letter C to generate the plural of a word that ends with the letter Z. For example : maiz - maices (corn), raíz - raíces (root), atroz - atroces (atrocious), pez - peces (fish).
  • All the verbs that end in 'ceder’, ‘cender’, ‘cibir’ and ‘citar’. For example : conceder (to grant), encender (turn on), recibir (receive), percibir (perceive).
  • All verbs ending in ZAR, when these are applied to the action of a subject. For example : utilizar - utilice (to use), analizar - analice (analize), memorizar - memorice (to memorize).

On our next article, we will explain the use of the letter S in Spanish.
Keep practicing, keep learning Spanish.



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