Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Q is the seventeenth letter of the Latin alphabet.

The Semitic sound value of Qp was /q/. In Greek this sign (called Qoppa in Greek) probably came to represent several labial plosives, among them /k_w/ and /k_w_h/. These sounds changed to /p/ and /p_h/ respectively. Therefore, Qoppa was transformed into two letters: Qoppa, which stood for a number only, and Φι (Phi) which stood for the aspirated sound /p_h/ that came to be pronounced /f/ in Modern Greek. The Etruscans used Q only in conjunction with V, symbolizing thus a /k_w/. and V. Some scholars claim that Q and Phi are unrelated.

In most Modern Languages, Q is rather superfluous; in Romance and Germanic languages it usually appears followed by the letter u. In English this most often denotes the affricate /kw/, as it does in Italian; in German, /kv/; and in French, Spanish, and Catalan, /k/. (In Spanish, "qu" replaces c for /k/ before the vowels i and e, since in those contexts c is a fricative.). In Azeri, Uzbek, Tatar languages Q is pronounced the same as the Semitic sound q.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z

Quebec represents the letter Q in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

Q is also:

Two-letter combinations starting with Q: