Silent Letters in the English Language

Have you ever found silent letters in English annoying? If yes! Then you are not alone millions of new learners find this annoying but in this article, we are going to explain these silent letters and their purpose in the English language. We are also going to learn how to pronounce these letters correctly. You will be amazed that around sixty percent of the English letters have silent words what more frustrating is that when you are listening to these words you won’t even notice that they have any letters that are silent, so you have to be careful. So, keep your focus sit tight, and don’t worry it’s not going to take long because you are not only going to learn silent words in this article, but you are also going to learn their pronunciation.

 

Let’s start with the letter ‘A’ in the 

  • Artistically
  • Stoically
  • Musically
  • Logically

In these words letter, ‘A’ is silent. These words are pronounced like this

  • Artisticlly
  • Stoiclly
  • Muiclly
  • Logiclly

Now for the letter ‘B’, there is a ruling letter ‘B’ is always silent when it comes with the letter ‘B’

  • Climb
  • Thumb
  • Womb
  • Limb
  • Comb

When we pronounce these words we don’t pronounce ‘B’ but we pronounce the ‘M’ consonant sound. They sound something like this

  • Clim
  • Thum
  • Wom
  • Lim
  • ComLetter ‘B’ is also silent when it use used with the letter ‘T’
    • Doubt
    • Subtle
    • Debt

    Without the letter ‘B’ they are pronounced as

    • Sutle
    • Det
    • Dout 

      Letter ‘C’ is silent when it comes after the letter ‘S’. The words can be very tricky when you pronounce them

      • Incandescent
      • Obscene
      • Scene
      • Scenario
      • Scented

      These words are pronounced as

      • Obsene
      • Sene
      • Senario
      • Sented

      Now we are going to discuss the letter ‘E’ we are all very familiar with this letter and we often use them in our daily conversation.

      • Debate
      • Desire
      • Dine
      • Excite
      • Make
      • Subdue

      In these letters, we don’t pronounce the letter ‘E’ which is at the end of each word but it can affect the pronunciation of the vowel sound before it.

      Debat > Debate

      Desir > Desire

      Hid > Hide

      Slid > Slide

      If ‘E’ is the final letter of a word but it’s only a vowel sound then it is going to be pronounced as.

      He

      She

      It

      Letter ‘E’ can also be silent at the end of past tense regular verbs that end on ED. But these words are not always pronounced like it is, for example, ‘wanted’ when you pronounce it you will hear ED sound at the end want-‘ed but a lot of time this e isn’t pronounced 

      • Looke
      • Asked
      • Played
      • Washe
      • Jumped
      • Wrapped

        The letter ‘G’ can also be silent

        Letter ‘D’ can also be silent in some cases.

        • Badge
        • Wedge
        • Edge
        • Hedge
        • Wednesday
        • Handkerchief
        • Handsome
        • Sandwich

        These words are pronounced as 

        • Bage
        • Wege
        • Ege
        • Hege
        • Wenesday
        • Hankerchief
        • Hansome
        • Sanwich

        Now we are going to discuss the letter ‘G’. In these examples, you are going to see that the letter ‘G’ is not as silent as the other letters that we discussed.

        • Malign
        • Design
        • Reign
        • Sovereign
        • Campaign

        When we remove the letter ‘G’ from these words they are going to sound something like this

        • Malin
        • Desin
        • Rein
        • Soverein
        • Campain

          The letter ‘H’ is often silent when it is following the letter ‘W’ like

          • What
          • Why
          • Whistle
          • When
          • When

          When you pronounce these words you keep the word ‘H’ silent. Sometimes when you pronounce words like honest and honor you won’t hear the sound of the letter ‘H’ is not also pronounced when it is followed by letters CH, GH, RH. On some rare occasions, the letter ‘H’ is not used pronounced sometimes. In the examples below, you will see that the letter ‘H’ is silent. 

          • Echo
          • Choir
          • Ghost
          • Rhyme 

          The letter ‘I’ is not generally silent in most of the words however the letter ‘I’ in the word business is silent and doesn’t pronounce it. 

          Now a very familiar with case ‘K’ letter ‘K’ is not pronounced with the letter ‘N’ like

          • Know 
          • Knife
          • Knee
          • Knowledge

          The words are pronounced as: 

          • now 
          • nife
          • nee
          • nowledge

          The letter ‘L’ can be silent sometimes. When you will read the examples below you will find out that the letter ‘L’ is quite difficult to pronounce. Even native speakers find it hard to pronounce.

          • Could
          • Wal
          • Calf
          • Half

          We are only halfway through hang on with me. Now the letter ‘M’ and ‘N’. You don’t have to worry about the letter ‘M’ letter ‘N’ is the letter that you have to worry about look at the examples below you will find out that how hard it can be to pronounce these words with the letter ‘N’

          • Damn
          • Column
          • Hymn
          • Autumn

          In the words that we mentioned above, we don’t pronounce the letter ‘N’ 

          The Letter ‘P’ is silent to read the examples below.

          • Psycho
          • Psychology
          • Receipt

          In these words letter, ‘P’ is silent, and it can also change pronunciation when it is next to the letter ‘H’ like the letters ‘ph’ can sometimes also sound as /f/ 

          The letter ‘R’ isn’t silent in American English, but it is silent in Australian English and British English look at these examples below

          • Iron
          • Butter

          The letter ‘S’ can be silent, and we often struggle with it once in a while when we are learning spoken English.

          • Isle
          • patios
          • aisle 
          • island

          As we can see in these words the letter ‘S’ can be sneaky sometimes.

          Letter ‘T’ can also be sneaky sometimes check these examples 

         

       

Learning is easy and fun!

1 Comment

  1. This was really informative and well explained I used to pronounce these letters very differently especially doubt I didn’t know letter b was silent I’m lucky that I found this website.

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