Silent Letters in English A to Z with ALL RULES | British Accents and Pronunciation

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- Hello everyone,

and welcome back to English with Lucy.

So you might have noticed

that recently I've been doing a series

on things you should never do in English,

or things you should never say.

And you guys seem to be reacting really well to it

and really enjoying it.

So I'm back today with another video.

This time about letters

that you should never ever pronounce in British English.

Yes, so today we're going to be talking

about silent letters in British English words.

I'm going to run through the letters alphabetically.

It's going to be really easy for you to understand.

Really easy for you to remember

and revise at a later date.

Before we start the lesson,

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Right, let's get on with the lesson.

So as you know, English is not a phonetic language,

which means (whoosh)

although you might see a letter in a word,

it doesn't necessarily mean you have to pronounce it.

I'm here to help you with that.

So let's talk about the letters

that you should never pronounce in English.

The silent letters in English words.

I'm going to go through them from A to Z.

Giving you as many examples

as I can possibly fit into this video.

I really do advise that you make a note of these

and try to use as many as possible

throughout your daily life.

That way it really gets stuck into your head.

Okay, so when should you not pronounce the letter A?

Well, when it comes just before "lly" at the end of a word.

Look at the word on screen.

How many syllables should this word have?

How many syllables?

If you thought three, you're correct.

It should be "lo-gic-ally"

We don't say "log-i-cal-ly,"

it's just logically.

Some other examples are artistically,

romantically,

musically.

It might be a good time now

to mention the homework for today's lesson,

which is to add any extra words

you can think of in your A to Z list,

and please share them in the comments.

Let's see who can contribute the most words.

I'll be looking out for them.

(whoosh) Right, let's move onto B.

So the B in words is usually silent

when it comes before a T,

or after an M.

Let's look at before a T.

We have subtle.

Subtle.

No B there.

We also have debt.

Debt.

And what about after an M?

We have comb.

Comb.

Womb.

Womb.

Tomb.

Tomb.

Bomb.

Bomb.

Plumber.

Plumber.

Thumb.

Thumb.

Now there are exceptions to these rules.

For example the word obtain.

It comes before a T, yet you pronounce the T.

Or remember.

Remember.

So next we have C.

The letter C is usually silent when it comes after an S

and before I, E, or Y.

For example, scissors

or

science.

Another miscellaneous one is muscle.

Muscle.

And

yacht.

Yacht.

So there is one rule for the letter D.

It's normally silent if it comes before an N or a G.

For example, Wednesday,

pledge,

grudge.

Other common words include sandwich,

handsome.

Now silent E's form a big part of the English language.

In lower school or primary school,

we used to call them "Magic E's".

Because by putting an E at the end of a word,

the vowel before it normally becomes a longer vowel sound.

For example, mat changes to mate.

Or strip changes to stripe.

Other examples include face,

hate,

cute,

tube.

What about the letter G?

The letter G is normally not pronounced

if it comes before an N.

For example, align,

align.

Foreign,

foreign.

There are exceptions to this rule,

like magnet

or

signature.

G is also not pronounced if it comes after a vowel

and before an H.

For example, high,

light,

through.

Please do note, though,

that GH is pronounced separately in compound words.

Like doghouse.

That's two words put together.

Or foghorn.

Another fog, horn.

Two words put together.

Sometimes GH is pronounced like an F.

For example, laugh,

draught,

tough.

Right, let's talk about H on it's own.

It's normally silent when it appears after a W.

For example, why,

what,

when.

However sometimes it's not silent.

Especially if an O follows it.

Who,

whoever,

wholesome.

H is also silent at the beginning of many other words,

like

hour,

honest,

honour.

Remember with an unvoiced H,

you have to use the article an.

An hour.

An honest man.

In general, most words beginning with H are voiced

and you should use the a article.

A happy dog.

A hair.

Let's move onto K.

The letter K is almost always silent

when it comes before an N at the beginning of a word.

For example, knight,

knight.

Knife,

knife.

Knowledge,

knowledge.

What about the letter L?

The letter L is not usually pronounced

if it comes after A, O or U.

For example, calf,

calf.

Should,

should.

Yolk,

yolk.

What about the letter N?

The letter N is usually silent

if it comes after an M at the end of a word.

For example, autumn,

autumn.

Column,

column.

Damn,

damn.

Ah the letter P.

This one has got a bit more meat to it.

The P is usually silent

in the letter combinations PS, PT,

and PN,

used at the beginning of words.

For example psychology,

psychology.

Pterodactyl,

pterodactyl.

I've always wanted to get a dinosaur into one of my videos

and I have done it.

Ah, I did not know my New Year's resolution

would be so easy to achieve.

Pneumonia,

pneumonia.

Now, P and H together is sometimes pronounced like F.

Elephant,

elephant.

Telephone,

telephone.

The letter S.

The letter S is not pronounced

before L in the following words,

island,

island.

That's a really common mistake I hear.

I hear "is-land", "ize-land"

Same for isle,

isle.

Now T as a silent letter.

It's quite hard to come up with a definitive rule.

But commonly, anything ending in S-T-E-N,

it's likely to have a silent T.

For example, listen,

listen.

Moisten,

moisten.

And also S-T-L-E.

Whistle,

whistle.

Castle,

castle.

Other notable words are words derived

from French like ballet,

ballet.

Beret,

beret.

And then other random ones like often,

often.

Although you will hear

that pronounced as "of-ten",

"of-ten."

In fact I was brought up to say "of-ten."

Alright we're getting close to the end now.

What about the letter U?

The letter U is usually silent

if it comes after a G at the beginning of a word.

For example, guess,

guess.

Or

guide,

guide.

And moving onto the letter W.

The letter W is usually not pronounced

if it comes before R at the beginning of a word.

For example, wrong,

wrong.

Wrap,

wrap.

Write,

write.

It is silent, however, if it's followed by an H and an O

at the beginning of a word.

Like

who,

who.

Whoever,

whoever.

Whole,

whole.

And then there are other random words like two,

two

and sword,

sword.

The letter X.

The only word I can think of

is at the end of a word derived from French,

faux,

faux.

It's a commonly used word in English.

And the letter Z.

Another French word, rendezvous, rendezvous.

We don't pronounce the Z there.

Right that's the end of today's lesson.

Please do complete the homework.

I would like to see as many more examples of silent letters

in English words as possible in the comments section.

I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for you.

Don't forget to checkout the Lingoda Language Marathan.

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And I shall see you soon for another lesson.

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