Silent letters

Silent letters

Based on some other lists that I have found on the internet, I have created a list of words with silent letters. Sometimes, there seems to be a sort of rule, sometimes it is just one word that is pronounced differently. I have marked the latter with an asterisk. Where I have indicated a rule, please keep in mind that there might be exceptions to this rule.

Do not hesitate to comment this article so that I can improve this list. Thanks!

B words ending in -mb climb, numb,plumb, comb, thumb, tomb, crumb, lamb, bomb, dumb
  words with -bt  debt, doubt, subtle        


C words with -cq- acquit, acquire        
  words with -sc- muscle, scissors        
  words with -ct- indict, victual        
  * czar          
E all words ending with an -e-  give, more, clue, hope, fate, site      
G words starting with -gn- gnome, gnash, gnarl        
  words ending with -gn- align, reign, sign, resign, foreign, design    
  words with -ght- thought, daughter, light, might, right, sight, fight, eight  
  words ending with -gh- weigh, sleigh, though, through      
  * champagne, diaphragm        
H words starting with -h- hour, honor, heir, honest        
  words starting with -wh- where, why, when, what, whether, white, while, whistle  
  * khaki, exhaust, exhibition, ghost      
I   business          
K words starting with -kn- know, knead, knot, knife, knicker, knight, knock, knitting, knee, knuckle
L words with -al-  +  consonant half, salmon, almond, calf, chalk, calm, talk, palm, walk  
  words with -ould- would, should, could        
  words with -olk- folk, yolk          
M * mnemmonic        
N words finishing with -mn autumn, solemn, damn, hymn, column      
P words starting with -ps- pseudonym,, psychology, psychiatrist, psychotic    
  * receipt,  pneumonia        
S * island, isle, viscount, aisle, debris      
T French words ending in -t- ballet, buffet, rapport, gourmet      
  words with -st- asthma, listen, castle, whistle, fasten      
  words with -ft- often, soften        
U words with -gue- ou -gua- guard, guest, catalogue, tongue, colleague, guide, dialogue, guess
  words with -ui-

building, biscuit , guilt, guitar, guide


W words starting with -wr- write, wreck, wrestle, wrong, wrinkle, wrap    
  words starting with -wh- who, whom, whore, whole, whose      
  * two, sword, answer        

""When "l" goes dark

A dark "l", in linguistic jargon, is one pronounced with the back of the tongue raised. In English, it is found after vowels, as in the words full or pole. This tongue raising can go so far that the "l" ends up sounding like a "w". People frown on this in non-standard dialects such as cockney. But the "l" in folk, talk and walk used to be pronounced. Now almost everyone uses a "w" instead- we effectively say fowk, tawk and wawk. This process is called velarisation. ""

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