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!
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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.
Rules for Silents Letters and Words
|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.|
List of Silent Letters and Words
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