One challenging aspect of English together is that you don’t constantly say every letter in a word. For example, girlfriend don’t pronounce the ‘l’ in “walk” or the ‘gh’ in “thought”.

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English native aren’t always pronounced together they’re written. Occasionally the pronunciation of a word transforms over the years, but the spelling continues to be the same. Occasionally an English word comes from another language whereby the letter is express in that language (but no in English).

Here room some instances of silent letters in words. The silent letter is in bold and also the together is offered afterwards.

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Silent b

This is regularly at the end of a word

bomb (pronounced /bom/)dumb (pronounced /dum/)climb (pronounced /claym/)comb (pronounced /coam/)limb (pronounced /lim/)thumb (pronounced /thum/)

But likewise sometimes in the center of a word

doubt (/dowt/)debt (/det/)subtle (/suttel/)

Silent c

scene (/seen/)science (/sience/)fascinate (/fasinate/)muscle (/mussel/)ascend (/assend/)descent (/dissent/)scissors (/sizzors/)

Silent d

Wednesday (/wenzday/)

Silent e

evening (/eav-ning/)interesting (/intresting/)vegetable (/vegtabul/)

Also at finish of words whereby there is a lengthy vowel: vowel + consonant + final silent e, such together late (/leyt/), site and also able /eybul).

Silent g

sign (/sine/)design (/dezine/)resign (/rezine/)foreign (/forrin/)reign (/rain/)

Silent gh

high (/hi/)higher (/hi-ur/)right (/rite/)might (/mite/)flight (/flite/)thigh (th – eye)sigh (s – eye)

taught (/tort//)thought (/thort//)ought (/ort/)bought (/bort/)brought (/brort/)

enough (/enuf/)tough (/tuff/)

though (/tho/)although (/altho/)

weigh (/way/)weight (/wayt/)straight (/strayt/)

Silent h

This deserve to come in ~ the beginning of a word:

honest (/onest/)hour (/our/)honour (/onour/)

Often after a c

ache (/eyk/)mechanic (/mekanik/)architect (/arkitect/)chemistry (/kemistry/)echo (/ekko/)stomach (/stomak/)school (/skule/)schizophrenia (/skizofrenia/)

Often ~ ‘w’

why (/wy/)where (/wear/)when (/wen/)what (/wot/)which (/witch/)whisper (/wisper/)whistle (/wissul/)white (/wite/)while (/wile/)whereas (/wearas/)

Silent k

These come at the start of a word, before ‘n’

know (/no/)knew (/new/)knowledge (/nolidge/)knee (/nee/)knock (/nok/)knife (/nife/)

Silent l

calf (/carf/)half (/harf/)

calm (/carm/)balm (/brm/)salmon (/samon/)

would (/wood/)could (/cood/)should (/shood/)

walk (/wawk/)talk (/tawk/)

Silent n

autumn (/ortum/)column (/colum/)

Silent p

These regularly come at the start of words:



Silent s

island (/i-land/)isle (/iyull/)

Silent t

listen (/lissen/)fasten (/fassen/)castle (/cassul/)hustle (/hussul/)whistle (/wissul/)

Silent u

biscuit (/biskit/)build (/bild/)guess (/gess/)guest (/gest/)guide (/guy-d/ – rhymes with “I’d”)guitar (/gitar/)

Silent w

These can come at the finish of a word

window (/windo/)widow (/widdo/)yellow (/yello/)below (/bilo/)

Also at the beginning of the word

who (/hoo)write (/rite/)wrist (/rist/)wrong (/rong/)wrap (/rap/)

answer (/anser/)sword (/sord/)

Want more help?

Check the end our quick pronunciation practice on the silent “w” in words.