Silent Letters | English Pronunciation & Vocabulary | PART 1


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'.

Like these:

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

silent too!

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

these examples

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.

Good news!

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,

introduce yourself!

I'd love to hear from you there. Make sure

you check out part 2 - the links down

there! See you soon!