Questions tagged [silent-letter]

This tag is for questions about letters that, in a particular word, don't correspond to any sound in the word's pronunciation.

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4
votes
3answers
433 views

Why the K is silent in “know” and “knowledge”? [duplicate]

Why is the K silent in "knowledge" and "know"? I have heard many non-natives pronounce the K but not natives. In dictionaries there is no K in the pronunciation but there is a K in ...
0
votes
2answers
117 views

Is “mince” an exception to the silent e rule or does it follow it?

I'm looking for an explanation of why the i is pronounced short instead of long in "mince" while it has an "e" at the end. It seems it's there to make the "c" a soft one (...
1
vote
1answer
170 views

What is the correct pronunciation of “don't you”?

I don't understand what's the standard pronunciation of words ending in t followed by you, including "don't you", "want you" etc. Even when hearing the same person talking for some ...
30
votes
1answer
8k views

Why is the W silent in “sword” but not in “swore”?

The word "sword" is pronounced /sɔːd/ (AmE: /sɔrd/) while "swore" is pronounced /swɔː/ (AmE: /swɔr/). The W in "sword" is silent because of the following round vowel; the ...
3
votes
3answers
280 views

The silent “u”: “forty” and “fourteen”

We all know that the cardinal and ordinal numbers 4 and 4th are spelled ‘four’ and “fourth” respectively. Then we have 14 and 14th which are spelled “fourteen” and “fourteenth”. Yet the numbers 40 and ...
1
vote
4answers
219 views

Can I always drop the T and the D at the end of verbs in the past (or past participle) tense when they come between two consonants sounds?

I am Brazilian and I'm trying to improve my English-speaking skills. I having a tough time linking verbs in the past tense to words starting with consonants other than T and D. I learned that many ...
36
votes
5answers
8k views

Why is the t in “often” silent?

Cambridge online dictionary pronounces "often" without the "t" but also gives the pronunciation with the t. I checked in many other dictionaries but it is silent. UK: /ˈɒf.ən/ /ˈɒf....
0
votes
1answer
92 views

How can I pronounce “quarter”?

I watched many YouTube videos and they seem to pronounce the first part of "Quarter" exactly the same as "core". It seems that the A is silent reading. Am I correct? Are there any ...
1
vote
1answer
366 views

Why is the K silent in 'know' and 'knotty' etc?

Why don't we read ''k'' here? Know → /nəʊ/ Knotty → /ˈnɒt.i/ Knockout → /ˈnɒk.aʊt/
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Is the letter “c” always silent in words which have the letters “sc”?

In words which have the letters "sc" is the letter "c" always silent? (for example: Fascinate)
2
votes
1answer
198 views

Is the “P” always silent in words that start with “ps”?

Is it true to say that in English always when word starts with "P+S", the the letter p is dropped out of pronunciation and become silent? I know about some words which behave like that, ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Apart from “psychology” and “pneumonia” are there other words in which “p” is not pronounced? [closed]

Apart from "psychology" and "pneumonia" are there other words in which the letter "p" is not pronounced? I've tried to get examples of some of them apart from these two words, but I didn't find any.
1
vote
1answer
74 views

The TH sound seems to be silent just after the S sound

When enjoying this beautiful song, I can't help but ask a question just like why the TH sound of that seems silent when used after the S sound. In my brain, the sound formed itself "recklessat" just ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

What does Django mean by “The 'D' is silent”?

First question: Is this sentence supposed to be humorous ? To me it makes no sense, is it intended in the movie or does the sentence seem logical to you ? In some languages, j is pronounced /ʒ/ (like ...
3
votes
1answer
510 views

Should I pronounce 'e' in forte?

Could anyone explain why forte (music: in loud manner) is pronounced with e, but taste is pronounced with a silent e?
1
vote
1answer
309 views

Pronunciation of “met her” in American English

According to what I have been taught about American English: Consonant /t/ becomes flap between vowels (when not being onset of stressed syllable) Consonant /h/ becomes silent (when not [same as ...
0
votes
1answer
218 views

Is there ever a silent B in “combo”? [closed]

I know that certain letters are not always pronounced in English words, at least not by all people or in all dialects. For example, for the word mountain, there seems to be at least two native ...
3
votes
2answers
554 views

Does “shore” require the “r” sound in the pronunciation (UK pronunciation)?

In the Cambridge Dictionary I see the pronunciation of the word shore is represented by /ʃɔːr/. In the WordReference dictionary it is instead pronounced as /ʃɔː/. The "r" sound is silent in the last ...
1
vote
1answer
560 views

Are 'bud' and 'butt' pronounced identically in American English accent?

Just for clarification, I'm more uncertain of the way the vowel after /b/ is pronounced in the two words and if it's the same in both words, rather than the ending consonant(s), although I would ...
5
votes
3answers
394 views

Do you native speakers pronounce “don't ask” as /doʊnæsk/?

This page said The /t/ is optionally silent when it follows /n/ and precedes a vowel sound, /r/ (including all r-controlled vowels) or a syllabic /l/. do you native speakers say "don't ask" as /...
2
votes
1answer
558 views

Pronunciation of s in “is he/is him”

I would like some clarification on the pronunciation of "s" in "is he/is her/is his" In the question "Where is he?" you pronounce s as "s" (not "z" ...
8
votes
3answers
34k views

Is the 'w' in sword silent?

I have heard people pronounce the word sword as either sord with the 'w' being silent or as sword with the 'w' pronounced, like "ss-wOrd" Which pronunciation is correct?
3
votes
3answers
965 views

It was a tough question. I thought it through, though. Rules for 'ough'?

Is there a rule, or rules, for how to pronounce ough? trough (short o, gh pronounced f), thought (short o, silent gh), though (long o, silent gh), through (oo, silent gh), tough (...
2
votes
1answer
518 views

American English Phonetics. Silent H in What's his name?

Is the letter 'h' silent when Americans pronounce the question 'What's his name?' in casual speech? The question 'What's his name?' phonetically looks like: [wʌts_ɪz neɪm]. I think the words "WHAT'S"...
8
votes
5answers
31k views

Is the 's' or the 'c' silent on scent?

Which of the first two letters on the word 'scent' is silent? if 's' is silent, the word cent is pronounced like we pronounce 'scent' if the 'c' is silent, the word is still pronounced the same, ...
2
votes
2answers
34k views

How do you pronounce, “minestrone”?

How should one pronounce, "minestrone" in English? I was at an Italian restaurant (US) and ordered "min eh stron ee soup" and my friend told me that's wrong... that the ending "e" is silent. They ...
14
votes
3answers
33k views

When is 'h' silent and when is it not?

When is 'h' silent and when is it not? For example, we pronounce Thailand as Tailand. Also, Lufthansa is pronounced Luft/Hansa. In both cases th is not pronounced as it usually is. Can anyone give ...
6
votes
2answers
12k views

How can I guess if some letter in some word is silent or not?

I was thinking about two particular words "Tsunami" and "gnarl". Both of them seems almost impossible to be pronounced by me (the ts and gn part). I guess this is because my tongue is not habituated ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

Can a silent letter be employed?

In my question on silent e, ctype.h's answer includes this: A silent e is often employed to modify the pronunciation of the preceding vowel, functioning much like a diacritic would in many other ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

When to pronounce 'e'?

Many words have the silent 'e' on the end. How can I tell whether I should pronounce the 'e' or not? Is there a rule for this?
29
votes
5answers
6k views

How are silent letters important?

Some words use silent letters in the spelling. I often ask myself: why are they used? English is a global language and it is changing day-by-day. Even if I have to believe they exist as they were in ...