The English language has a lot of silent letters. Silent letters cause difficulties for both native speakers and English learners, because they make the spelling of words different from their pronunciation.
You don’t want to make embarrassing mistakes by saying these words wrong, so today let’s practice pronouncing some common English words with silent letters from A to Z!
If your pronunciation is not great, then other people might look at you funny or ask you to repeat yourself a lot. But when you have nice clear pronunciation, then you can speak English more confidently because you’ll be certain that you can communicate successfully!
Inside my American English Pronunciation Course you can improve your pronunciation in the next 30 days, just by following the lessons. Click on the link to learn more and to join that course.
OK, let’s try these words with silent letters – just listen and repeat after me!
artistically, logically, musically, romantically, stoically
climb, comb, crumbs, debt, doubt, numb, subtle, thumb, tomb
acquire, muscle, scissors
Wednesday, sandwich, handsome, edge, bridge
hate, name, like, breathe
sign, champagne, gnaw, high, light, reign, though, through
honest, ghost, heir, hour, what, whether
knead, knife, knight, knock, knot, know
would, should, calf, half, salmon, talk, yolk
autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn
corps, coup, pneumonia, psychology, receipt
(no words in American English. However, British English has some silent Rs)
aisle, island, debris, apropos, bourgeois
asthma, ballet, castle, gourmet, listen, rapport, ricochet, soften
colleague, guess, guard, guide, guilt, guitar, tongue
answer, sword, two, whole, wrist, write, who
Faux pas is a word of French origin. It means a “social mistake” or “inconsiderate action in a social situation.” Example: “Not inviting his mother-in-law to the party was a serious faux pas.”
Rendezvous is another word of French origin, meaning “a meeting or appointment at a specified time and place.” Alternatively, it can mean “place of meeting.” Example: “Bob and I have planned a rendezvous this weekend so that our families can get to know each other.”
Thanks for practicing with me! When you practice by repeating out loud, you’re training your mouth to pronounce these English words more clearly, so that other people can understand you even better.
My American English Pronunciation Course has tons of listen and repeat exercises – both words and full sentences – so that you can get this essential practice and improve your pronunciation fast. I hope to see you in the course.