I know seven words ending in "sten" : chasten, christen, fasten, glisten, hasten, listen, moisten

All of them are pronounced without the sound "t". Is there some rule that explains this? Are there some other situations when "st" is pronounced as just "s"?

  • 5
    Not an answer to your question, but tungsten is pronounced with a t.
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 17, 2016 at 11:24
  • Often is another word where the t does not always get pronounced, this happens more frequently than is convenient in English, which is a reason the language is not easy to learn
    – Peter
    Jan 17, 2016 at 12:15
  • Glorfindel, thanks indeed you are right. Maybe this exception is explained by the fact that tungsten is a noun...
    – aglearner
    Jan 17, 2016 at 13:13
  • 1
    @Glorfindel In tungsten, the second syllable is "sten", while in the question examples it is ten.
    – user3169
    Jan 17, 2016 at 18:25
  • 3
    List of st words with silent t is here
    – Peter
    Jan 18, 2016 at 5:54

1 Answer 1


If a syllable ends with "s", and the next syllable is "t" plus schwa plus L or N, the resulting "st" is reduced to just /s/.


moisten, whistle, thistle, hasten, fasten, christening, glisten, ...

This rules out tungsten, because its syllables are tung-sten and not tungs-ten.

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