So after vowels in the German language you should write ck and after other letters you should write just k. So I was wondering, because Umlauts are the vowels but modified a bit, should you write ck or k after an Umlaut?

  • 6
    Who told you that rule? It's wrong.
    – Janka
    Oct 22, 2018 at 12:11
  • 2
    No, it's more complicated like that. I write an answer about it.
    – Janka
    Oct 22, 2018 at 12:14
  • 3
    Just a quote: Nach einem kurzen Vokal wird ein Konsonant in der Regel verdoppelt The rule is for short vowels, not for vowels in general. And there may be exeptions,
    – knut
    Oct 22, 2018 at 12:14
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    @Pollitzer The language definitely isn't easy but it's not a random mess
    – user34854
    Oct 22, 2018 at 12:30
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    @knut I'd appreciate if people who publish orthographic rules on the internet published rules that actually work. Hint: We do not write "Nach einemm kurzenn Vockal wird ein Konsonnant inn derr Regell verrdoppelt", even though the bold vowels are clearly short.
    – Uwe
    Oct 24, 2018 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


It is not true that ck is always written after a vowel. As a general rule, ck is written after a short vowel, as in Sack, Socke, Puck. After a long vowel k is used. This is less frequent, but examples of it exist, e.g. blöken, häkeln.

There are exceptions to this rule, e.g. Paket. Even native speakers of German sometimes get this wrong and mistakenly write Packet because of the short a.

Since umlauts can be short or long, they can be followed by ck or k, although the former is more frequent.

  • 2
    The Paket mystery is easily solved. It's Pa-ket. The k belongs to the second syllable, so it cannot have an influence on the a. In contrary, in Päckchen (Päck-chen), the k belongs to the first syllable, so it has to be ck to mark a short ä.
    – Janka
    Oct 22, 2018 at 12:33
  • As a general rule, "ck" is written after a short stressed vowel (just like the other double consonants "bb", "dd", "ff", "gg", "ll", "mm", "nn", "pp", "rr", "ss", "tt", "tz").
    – Uwe
    Oct 22, 2018 at 13:54
  • @Janka: The same could be said in the case of Hacke, Backe, Socke and many more. Hence, the answer is correct to label Paket an exception. The claim that the 'k' sound from the second syllable "cannot have an influence on the a" is downright incorrect. Oct 22, 2018 at 16:16
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    In "Paket", the "a" is short but unstressed, therefore it's not followed by a double consonant. Same as in "Banane", "Garage", "Kanone", "Kanüle", "Rakete", "Salat", "Tabelle", "Talent". This is not an exception at all.
    – Uwe
    Oct 22, 2018 at 17:17
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    @Janka: I'm not convinced. When you split a word like Hacke and pronounce it syllable-wise, you get "ha - ke", not "hak - ke" or anything like that. In that respect, Hacke and Paket behave precisely the same way. Uwe's remark about the rule not applying to unstressed syllables sounds more likely, though. Oct 22, 2018 at 21:08

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