10 silent letters you should check

Feb 18, 2019 | Blog

Georgie Harding

Speech Pathologist

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How to Pronounce English Words with Silent Letters

How horrible is the spelling of English!?!

It’s a non-phonetic language and this is one of the reasons why pronunciation of English is such a challenge. 

Many words in English have silent letters. Silent letters are letters that you can’t hear when you say the word, but that are there when you write the word.

There are some silent letters that most students know, for example ‘b’ in ‘climb’. But some silent letters are traps for many non-native speakers and as a result, I often hear them pronounced incorrectly.


Here is a list of the most commonly mispronounced English words that have silent letters.


The letter ‘d’ is silent in:

sandwich /ˈsæn.wɪdʒ/ and Wednesday /ˈwenz.deɪ/

The letter ‘p’ is slient in:
cupboard   /ˈkʌb.əd/  and receipt   /rɪˈsiːt/

The letter ‘b’ is silent in:
debt  /det/ and plumbing /ˈplʌ.mɪŋ/.

The letter ‘e’ is silent in:
vegetable /ˈvedʒ.tə.bl̩/  and every  /ˈev.ri/ and evening  /ˈiːv.nɪŋ/

The letter ‘n’ is silent in:
government /ˈɡʌ.və.mənt/

The letter ‘l’ is silent in:
salmon/ˈsæ.mən/ and walk  British English – /wɔːk/  US English – /waːk/ 

 

With a full Speech Active tailored courses you’ll correct over 500 of the most commonly mispronounced words in English. These are words with unusual spelling patterns that are traps for non-native speakers. 

For more help with pronunciation and spelling in English check out our blog posts on:

Would you like more help with your English pronunciation?
 

Make sure you join our free English Pronunciation Course.  It’s the perfect place to start improving!

Listen to all the sounds in English and record your own speech and compare it to a native English speaker. 

Open your ears and listen carefully to the way people around you speak English. Listen as much as you can to the sounds they make.

As you improve your listening, picking up things like how to pronounce words with silent letters and making words with the correct word stress (see videos on improving English word stress) will get easier and easier.

With a full Speech Active course, you’ll correct over 500 commonly mispronounced words. Select your first language to see how a tailored Speech Active English Pronunciation Course will help you level up your spoken English. 

Good luck! Have a great day. 

Georgie

 

 

For other helpful tips and free resources:

 

Improve with our English Pronunciation videos on our Youtube channel and English Pronunciation tips on Facebook.

Listen to the pronunciation of words and see the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) at the Cambridge Online Dictionary.

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