Mastering Silent Words to Improve your English

4 minute read
358 views
10 shares
Mastering Silent Words to Improve your English (1)

One of the main tasks while learning and speaking English is silent letters. It’s the main hurdle when it comes to pronunciation, spelling and can jeopardize your speaking tasks during IELTS, TOEFL, or in school. In order to get that boost of confidence and improve your English language, mastering silent words is a must! 

Must Read: How to Improve English Vocabulary?

What are Silent Words? 

Silent letters are letters in words that are not pronounced. These letters are very important while writing and usually make a huge difference. This difference is between the meaning and pronunciation of the word. To understand these words and letters better there are some rules given below. 

Also Read: The Best Binge-Watch Worthy Series for Learning English

Rules for Silents Letters and Words

Silent Letters Rules  Explanation
B The letter B is usually not pronounced after M at the end of a word. For example comb, bomb, thumb, climb, tomb, crumb, lamb.  It is usually not pronounced before the letter T. For example doubt, doubtful, subtle, debt. 
C The letter C is usually not pronounced in the combination of SC. For example, scissors, ascent, fascinate, muscle. C is usually mute before the letters K and Q. For example, aqua, acquit, acquiesce.
D The letter D is silent when it appears before the letters N and G. For example, Wednesday, cadge, pledge, grudge.  D is not pronounced in the following Common words. For example, Wednesday, handsome, handkerchief, sandwich
E If the letter E comes at the ends of words, it is generally not pronounced.  For example, fore, table, before, write, give, hide.  If E occurs before the letter D in the second and third forms of the verbs, E may sometimes not be pronounced. For example, bored, fixed, smuggled, begged.
G The G letter is not pronounced when it comes before N in a word. For example Design, foreign, sign, gnash, align. Exceptions- magnet, igneous, cognitive, signature
GH GH is not pronounced when it comes after a vowel in a word. For example, high, light, thought, through alight. Exceptions: GH is pronounced separately in compound words. Except for examples from Rule 1, GH is sometimes pronounced like F, consider the words like draught, cough, laugh, tough.
H The letter H is usually silent when it appears after W. For example Why, what, when, weather, where. Sometimes the letter H is not silent after W, consider the words below. For example whose, whosoever, who, whoever, whole. H is mute at the beginning of many words (remember to use the article “an” with unvoiced H). For example, hour, honest, honour, heir.  Exceptions: Most of the words beginning with H are not silent (remember to use the article “a” with voiced H) For example history, history, hair, happy.
K The letter K is always silent when it precedes the letter N in a word. For example, know, knock, knife, knight, knowledge.
L The letter L is usually not pronounced after the vowels: A, O, and U. For example, calf, half, palm, would, should, could, folk, yolk.
N The letter N is not pronounced when it comes after M at the end of a word. For example, column, damn, solemn, autumn.
P The letter P is not pronounced at the beginning of many words using the combinations PS, PT, and PN. For example, psalm, psephology, pterodactyl, pneumonia, pneumatic.
PH PH is sometimes pronounced like F. For example, paragraph, elephant, telephone.
S The letter S is not pronounced before L in the following words, aisle, island, isle, islet.
T The letter T is not pronounced in the following common English words: castle, Christmas, fasten, listen, often, beret, Chevrolet, whistle, thistle, bustle, hasten, soften, rapport, gourmet, ballet.
U The letter U is not pronounced when it comes after G and before a vowel in a word. For example, guide, guest, guard, guest, guano.
W The letter W is not pronounced at the beginning of a word when it is before the letter R. For example Write, wrest, wrong, wrack, wrap. W is silent in the following words, who, whose, whole, whom, whose, whoever, answer, sword, two.

Must Read: Improve Your Pronunciation with These Tongue Twisters

List of Silent Letters and Words

Letters  Words 
Silent B aplomb
bomb
climb
comb
coulomb
crumb
doubt
dumb
jamb
lamb
limb
numb
plumb
subtle
succumb
thumb
tomb
womb
Silent C abscess
ascent
ascent
conscience
conscious
crescent
descend
descent
disciple
evanesce
fascinate
fluorescent
muscle
obscene
resuscitate
scenario
science
scene
scissors
Silent D bridge
edge
handkerchief
handsome
handful
grandson
ledger
sandwich
Wednesday
Silent E hate
name
breathe
Silent K knack
knave
knead
knee
kneel
knell
knew
knickers
knife
knight
knit
knob
knock
knoll
knot
know
knowledge
knuckle
Silent L would
should
calf
half
salmon
talk
yolk
Silent P psychology
pneumonia
pseudo
psychiatrist
psychiatry
psychotherapy
psychotic
receipt
Silent U baguette
biscuit
build
building
built
circuit
disguise
guess
guest
guide
guild
guilt
guilty
guise
guitar
rogue
silhouette
Silent N autumn
column
condemn
damn
hymn
solemn
Silent T apostle
bristle
bustle
castle
fast
hustle
listen
moisten
often
Silent M mnemonic

Worried About IELTS? Take a Demo Class with Leverage Live Experts and Learn the Coolest Ways to Ace the Exam in One-Go!

We hope this list of silent words will help you improve your English. If you are planning to study abroad then cracking IELTS is a must! Our Leverage Edu experts will provide you with end-to-end assistance from application to Visa process. Call us at 1800 57 2000 to book a FREE 30-minutes counselling session today.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *

*

*

10,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today.
Talk to an expert