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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

G› is the seventh letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English (pronounced /ˈdʒiː/) is spelled ‹gee›.[1]

Basic Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd    
Ee Ff Gg Hh
Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn
Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt
Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz



‹G› was introduced in the Old Latin period as a variant of ‹c› to distinguish voiced /ɡ/ from voiceless /k/. The recorded originator of ‹g› is freedman Spurius Carvilius Ruga, the first Roman to open a fee-paying school, who taught around 230 BC. At this time ‹k› had fallen out of favor, and ‹c›, which had formerly represented both /ɡ/ and /k/ before open vowels, had come to express /k/ in all environments.

Ruga's positioning of ‹g› shows that alphabetic order, related to the letters' values as Greek numerals, was a concern even in the 3rd century BC. Sampson (1985) suggests that: "Evidently the order of the alphabet was felt to be such a concrete thing that a new letter could be added in the middle only if a 'space' was created by the dropping of an old letter."[2] According to some records, the original seventh letter, ‹z›, had been purged from the Latin alphabet somewhat earlier in the 3rd century BC by the Roman censor Appius Claudius, who found it distasteful and foreign.[3]

Eventually, both velar consonants /k/ and /ɡ/ developed palatalized allophones before front vowels, leading to the situation today's Romance languages where, ‹c› and ‹g› have different sound values depending on context. Because of French influence, English also has this feature in its orthography.

Typographic forms

Typographic variants include a double-story and single-story g.

The modern lower case ‹g› has two typographic variants: the single-story (sometimes opentail) ‹Opentail g.svg› and the double-story (sometimes looptail) ‹Looptail g.svg›. The single-story version derives from the majuscule (upper-case) form by raising the serif that distinguishes it from ‹c› to the top of the loop, thus closing the loop, and extending the vertical stroke downward and to the left. The double-story form developed similarly, except that some ornate forms then extended the tail back to the right, and to the left again, forming a closed bowl or loop. The initial extension to the right was absorbed into the upper closed bowl. The double-story version became popular when printing switched to "Roman type" because the tail was effectively shorter, making it possible to put more lines on a page. In the double-story version, a small stroke in the upper-right, often terminating in an orb shape, is called an "ear".

Generally, the two minuscule forms are interchangeable, but occasionally the difference has been exploited to make a contrast. The 1949 Principles of the International Phonetic Association recommends using Opentail g.svg for advanced voiced velar plosives and Looptail g.svg for regular ones where the two are contrasted,[citation needed] but this suggestion was never accepted by phoneticians in general,[citation needed] and today ‹Opentail g.svg› is the symbol used in the International Phonetic Alphabet, with ‹Looptail g.svg› acknowledged as an acceptable variant.[citation needed]


In English, the letter represents a voiced postalveolar affricate /dʒ/ ("soft G"), as in: giant, ginger, and geology; or a voiced velar plosive /ɡ/ ("hard G"), as in: goose, gargoyle, and game. In some words of French origin, the "soft G" is pronounced as a fricative (/ʒ/), as in rouge, beige, and genre. Generally, ‹g› is soft before ‹e›, ‹i›, and ‹y› in words of Romance origin, and hard otherwise; there are many English words of non-Romance origin where ‹g› is hard regardless of position (e.g. get), and three (gaol, margarine, algae) in which it is soft even before an ‹a›.

Languages Non-Romance languages typically use ‹g› to represent /ɡ/ regardless of position. Amongst European languages Dutch is an exception as it does not have /ɡ/ in its native words, and instead ‹g› represents a voiced velar fricative /ɣ/, a sound that does not occur in modern English). German, however, is notable for its sparse use of ‹g› to represent a pronunciation (to represent the sounds /ʒ/, or /dʒ/) regardless of its position within German words. While the soft value of ‹g› varies in different Romance languages (/ʒ/ in French and Portuguese, [(d)ʑ] in Catalan, /d͡ʒ/ in Italian and Romanian, and /x/ in Castilian Spanish, and /h/ in other dialects of Spanish), in all except Romanian and Italian, soft ‹g› has the same pronunciation as the ‹j›.

Several digraphs are common in English. ‹gh› which came about when the letter yogh was removed from the alphabet, and took various values including /ɡ/, /ɣ/, /x/, and /j/. It now has a great variety of values, including /f/ in enough, /ɡ/ in loan words like spaghetti, and as an indicator of a letter's "long" pronunciation in words like eight and night. ‹Gn› with value /nj/ is also common in loanwords, as in lasagna (though initially, as in gnome, the ‹g› is simply silent).

In Italian and Romanian, ‹gh› is used to represent /ɡ/ before front vowels where ‹g› would otherwise represent a soft value. In Italian and French, ‹gn› is used to represent the palatal nasal /ɲ/, a sound somewhat similar to the ‹ny› in English canyon. In Italian, the trigraph ‹gli›, when appearing before a vowel, represents the palatal lateral approximant /ʎ/; in the definite article and pronoun gli /ʎi/, the digraph ‹gl› represents the same sound.

In Maori (Te Reo Māori), ‹g› is used in the combination ‹ng› which represents the velar nasal /ŋ/ and is pronounced like the ‹ng› in singer.

Other scripts

Strictly speaking, of course, the letter ‹g› is not present in other scripts, but the sound it represents is present in many world languages, and is represented by many different graphemes.

The Cyrillic alphabet analogue is marked as ‹г› (e.g. in Russian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian, etc.) or ‹ґ› (in Ukrainian as additional letter with some different pronounce). The Hebrew analogue is gimel ‹ג›.

Classical Arabic did not have plain /ɡ/ in its native words (the palatalized form /ɡʲ/ is believed to have been used) and the sound remains rare in Modern Standard Arabic. However, foreign words containing /ɡ/ are transcribed using ‹غ› (ġayn) (most Arab countries) or ‹ج› (jīm) (Egypt).

Codes for computing

Alternative representations of G
NATO phonetic Morse code
Golf ––·
ICS Golf.svg Semaphore Golf.svg ⠛
Signal flag Flag semaphore Braille

In Unicode the capital ‹G› is codepoint U+0047 and the lowercase ‹g› is U+0067.

The ASCII code for capital ‹G› is 71 and for lowercase ‹g› is 103; or in binary 01000111 and 01100111, respectively.

The EBCDIC code for capital ‹G› is 199 and for lowercase ‹g› is 135.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "G" and "g" for upper and lower case respectively.

See also


  1. ^ "G" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "gee", op. cit.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Encyclopaedia Romana

External links

The basic modern Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Letter G with diacritics

history palaeography derivations diacritics punctuation numerals Unicode list of letters ISO/IEC 646


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

The Universal Character Set
Basic Latin U+0047
See also Appendix:Variations of "g", and



Wikipedia has an article on:



G upper case (lower case g)

  1. The sixth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.

See also



  1. (metrology) Symbol for the prefix giga-.
  2. Symbol for gauss.
  3. (biochemistry) One-letter symbol for glycine, a natural amino acid.
  4. (biochemistry) One-letter symbol for the nucleotides guanodine, nucleoside guanosine, or nucleobase guanine, which are components of DNA.
  5. The gravitational constant in the formula F = Gm1m2/r2; sometimes called "big G" to distinguish from g for the acceleration of gravity.

See also

Other representations of G:



 Audio (UK)help, file



  1. (sports, baseball) the statistic reporting the number of games that a player has participated in



  1. (astronomy) a galaxy
  2. (sports) goals , a sports statistic

Derived terms

  • (astronomy): ClG
  • (sports): GF , GA




G (plural Gs)

  1. The seventh letter of the English alphabet, preceded by F and followed by H.
  2. (slang) A gangsta, gangster
  3. (economics) Abbreviation for Government Spending.

American Sign Language


G (Stokoe G)

  1. The letter G



  • (letter name): IPA: /χeː/


G (capital, lowercase g)

  1. The seventh letter of the Dutch alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: F
  • Next letter: H



  • (letter name): IPA: /go/
  • (phoneme): IPA: /g/


G (upper case, lower case g)

  1. The eighth letter of the Esperanto alphabet.

See also

  • Previous letter: F
  • Next letter: Ĝ




Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

G m. and f. inv.

  1. The seventh letter of the Italian, and of the Latin alphabets



  • IPA: /ge/, /ʤe/


G (capital, lowercase g)

  1. The ninth letter of the Romanian alphabet representing the phonemes /g/ and /ʤ/. Preceded by F and followed by H.

Usage notes

When followed by the letters i or e, this letter represents the phoneme /ʤ/, as in plângi /plɨnʤʲ/ (you cry) and înger /ɨn.ʤer/ (angel). When followed by "hi" or "he" (ghi & ghe) and in all other cases, it represents /g/.


Slovene Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia sl



G (capital, lowercase g)

  1. The 8th letter of the Slovene alphabet. Preceded by F and followed by H.



G (upper case, lower case g)

  1. The eighth letter of the Spanish alphabet.




  1. The 10th letter of the alphabet, preceded by Ff and followed by Ng


  • G at the beginning of words is omitted in a soft mutation, mutates to Ng in a nasal mutation and is unchanged in an aspirate mutation, for example with the word gorsaf (station):
Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
gorsaf orsaf ngorsaf unchanged

Simple English

The Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd
Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj
Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp
Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv
Ww Xx Yy Zz

G is the 7th (number 7) letter in the English alphabet.

Meanings for G

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