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Hard C Soft C Words

Here is a list of Hard C & soft C words. It includes the hard C soft C themed 2nd grade spelling list.

Hard C Soft C Rule

The general rule is:

If the vowel after the C is A, O, or U, the C has a hard sound. If the vowel after the C is E, I, or Y, its sound is soft.

A Silly Trick

To help my daughter remember which vowels make the C soft or hard, I came up with a bit of a silly saying. It’s silly but it does help her always remember which vowels are which.

We call them “Riley” letters. “There’s a little girl named Riley and she’s so soft and sweet, everybody else is hard.”

The vowels in the name Riley are I E and Y. They make the C soft. All the other vowels A, O & U make the C hard.

The same rule also applies for the letter G, and also both C and G in french as well, so it’s a rule she’s had to learn well.

If you have any tricks to remembering the rule, feel free to share in the comments below.

Hard C Words

Here is a list of hard C words:

CA words

  • cake
  • calm
  • camel
  • castle
  • car
  • card

CO words

  • cobra
  • cold
  • comb
  • cone
  • corn
  • cotton

CU words

  • cub
  • cube
  • curb
  • curl
  • cup
  • curtain
  • curve
  • cut

Soft C Words

Here is a list of soft C words:

CE words

  • bounce
  • celery
  • cell
  • cement
  • cent
  • cereal
  • cedar
  • ceiling
  • celery
  • cement
  • center
  • dance
  • face
  • fence
  • ice
  • juice
  • lace
  • lettuce
  • mice
  • police
  • price
  • princess
  • rice
  • sentence
  • slice
  • space
  • trace
  • twice

CI words

  • acid
  • cider
  • cinema
  • cinnamon
  • citizen
  • citrus
  • city
  • decide
  • icing
  • pencil
  • recipe

CY words

  • cyan
  • emergency
  • fancy
  • icy
  • juicy
  • mercy
  • spicy
On the left we have images of soft C words: celery (CE), pencil (CI), and icy (CY). The right side has pictures of hard C words: car (CA), corn (CO), and a cup (CU). In the middle there's a picture of a circus, which is a word that has both a hard and soft c.

Hard C and Soft C Words

Some words have both a hard C and a soft C. Here are some of those words:

  • cancel
  • circle
  • circus
  • concern
  • concert
  • cycle
  • cyclone
  • circumstance
  • inconvenience

Hard C / Soft C Spelling Words

For those doing 2nd grade spelling words, here are the hard C and soft C spelling words for week 9:

Hard C

  1. because
  2. cake
  3. care
  4. cook
  5. cry

Soft C

  1. city
  2. nice
  3. place
  4. race

Hard and Soft C

  1. circus

Review Words

Here are the optional review words, or words previously learned, that you can include as a review in this week’s spelling if you so desire. They all are hard c & soft c words.

Grade 1 Review Words

Grade 2 Review Words

Here’s a fun hard c soft c word search perfect for 2nd graders learning the two sounds the letter C makes.