Silent Letters

Silent letters are letters that cannot be heard when the word is spoken.

Over hundreds of years we have changed how we pronounce these words, but we have kept the old spellings.

These spellings sometimes tell us how words used to be pronounced. For example, the letter ‘k’ in the word ‘knock’ was pronounced ‘k/nock’.

Here are some examples:

Silent 'K'

knock
know
knee

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Silent 'U'

guess
guard
tongue

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Silent 'W'

wrist
write
wrong
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Silent 'T'

listen
mortgage
watch

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Silent 'N'

autumn
damn
column

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Silent 'G'

sign
design
foreign

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Silent 'H'

hour
ghost
honest

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Silent 'B'

thumb
doubt
plumber

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Sometimes, even if a letter is silent, it can affect the way a word is pronounced.

For example:


Silent 'L'

half
calm
talk

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