Oh my gosh guys! How annoying are silent
letters in English words? What are they
even doing there?!
This video is all about English words
with silent letters in them. When do you
pronounce those letters and when don't
you pronounce those letters? I'm going to
teach you a few simple rules to help you
pronounce English words correctly.
Don't forget to turn on the subtitles
either. The button is just down there, so
you can follow along. There are a lot of
English words that have silent letters
in them. And there are lots of silent
letters in English! About sixty percent
of all English words have a silent
letter! No wonder pronunciation is so
frustrating, right? And they can be silent
these letters, but they're not always
silent! So you have to be careful!
You need to know a few basic rules to
help with the pronunciation of silent
letters in English words.
Okay, let's start at the top with the
letter A. Now the letter A can be silent
especially in words that end in '-ally'.
So, I'm not pronouncing:
Cut the A out. Get rid of it!
Now there's a rule
to remember with the letter B. It's
always silent when it follows the letter M
So, practice them with me. I'm not
pronouncing the B, I'm just pronouncing
the M consonant sound.
And the letter B is
often silent when it before the
consonant T, so think of these examples:
So, see in all of
those examples, my lips are closing and
coming together to form the B sound,
I'm just pronouncing the T.
Now, the letter C can cause a
few problems because it's often silent
after the letter S, like in
these very common examples - they are quite tricky!
So that's the silent C.
So what about the letter D? Yep, it can be
So, I'm not pronouncing the D in 'sandwich'
I'm just pronouncing the consonant N
sound before it. Try it with me one more time.
And a D can be very quiet, not quite silent, but
very quiet in front of a G, like in these
So in these examples the D and the G
combined together produce the 'dg'
consonant sound 'dg'
Okay, so the letter E can often be silent
at the end of a word. I'm pretty sure
you know this one already, like these
But that E on the end, although it might be silent,
it can affect the pronunciation of the
vowel sound before it.
Let's look at these examples:
So see how the E at the end, although it's not
pronounced, is affecting the vowel sound
before it. It makes it longer. So hid /i/
becomes hide /i:/
But if the E is the final letter in
the word but it's the only vowel sound
then it needs to be pronounced, like in
E can also be silent at the end of past tense regular
verbs, which all end in ED, right?
But they're not always pronounced like it is
in 'wanted'. So, you can hear the ED sound
there '-ed', '-ed'. It's its own syllable.
But a lot of the time that E isn't pronounced
Now they could be a little bit tricky, so
let's do it again!
Okay, so a G can also be silent too! Think
about the word sign, champagne, design, or
foreign. All of these examples have a
silent G. And the combination GH can also
be silent when it comes after a vowel sound
Now, the letter H
is often silent too, often when it's
following a W, like in the examples
And sometimes it's not pronounced at the
start of a word like honest and hour.
And sometimes the H is not pronounced
when it follows any of these three
letters: C, G or R.
Now, most of the time
CH is pronounced 'ch' but on small occasions
or rare occasions
it's not pronounce, the H is silent.
The I is not usually silent, it's usually
pronounced. Except in the word business!
Okay, K! Now I know you know this one!
A K is not pronounced when it comes before an N.
The letter L can be silent too and it's
quite common when you look at this list.
But consider this rule to be a bit of a
cheat because the letter L is quite
difficult to pronounce in all of these
words, even for a native speaker!
So, this makes it easier! In these
words where /l/ is really difficult to
pronounce then it's silent! Ready? Let's try it.
So, we got through quite a bit but
we're only halfway through! So, if you
want to keep watching and keep
practicing with silent letters in
English then click the link in the
description box and go to part 2 of this video.
Guys, I love making these videos
for you and I love hearing from you as
well, so if you want to say hi
come over to my facebook page at
mmmEnglish and say hello, ask question,
I'd love to hear from you there. Make sure
you check out part 2 - the links down
there! See you soon!