Silent Letters | English Pronunciation & Vocabulary | PART 2

Lesson Overview

This lesson is about silent letters in English words. Yes, that’s right! We sometimes don’t pronounce letters in English words!
This video will give you some tips and clues to help you pronounce English words correctly.

This lesson is PART 2! Watch PART 1 here!


Video Transcript
Section 1
Hey guys! I’m Emma from mmmEnglish and welcome to another video lesson! This is actually Part 2 of a video series about silent letters in English words. So if you want to watch Part 1, you can watch it here or here… I can’t remember where… I never remember where!

Anyway, or the links in the description under this video so you can find it there. In Part 1 of the video, we went through silent letters that are in the first half of the alphabet, so from ‘A’ to ‘L’.

So, we’ve still got half to go.

But luckily for you the letter ‘M’ is usually pronounced and so you don’t have to to worry about the letter ‘M’.

‘N’ on the other hand, you do have to worry about! Now, before I explain I want to show you the difference between ‘M’ and ‘N’ so that you can hear and you can see the difference in my mouth when I’m explaining because it can get a bit confusing!

So, ‘M’ you’ll see that all of my lips are touching, all the way along like in the word ‘mum’ or in ‘mmmEnglish’ or ‘Emma’. The letter ‘N’ my mouth is open actually and it’s my tongue that’s doing the work. So, my tongue is lifting to the roof of my mouth behind my teeth. ‘N’.

So now you can see the difference ‘M’ and ‘N’. It’s important because when I’m explaining the silent letter ‘N’ it actually is silent when it’s next to ‘M’. Confusing, huh? Let’s look at some examples!

Damn (like ‘damn it!’), autumn, hymn (a hymn is a song that you sing in church), column. That’s it.

The letter ‘P’ can also be silent in words like:

Receipt, psychology and psycho.

Now remember that ‘P’ can also be silent or it changes when it’s next to a ‘H’ and together ‘PH’ and often mean an ‘F’ sound like in these examples:

Paragraph and telephone.

Now the letter ‘R’ is not silent in American English, but it can be in British English and also Australian English. If you think about words like butter – the ‘R’ at the end of the word is not pronounced.

Now an ‘S’ can also be silent and I know that you’ve already struggled with this one!

Island, debris and aisle (the bride walked down the aisle).

So an ‘S’ can be a little bit sneaky, that one!

Now the letter ‘T’ can also be a bit sneaky and it can also be silent like in these examples (there’s quite a few):

Listen, castle, ballet, soften, gourmet, asthma, Christmas, whistle.

Cheeky little ‘T’!

Now the letter ‘U’ can also be silent and I bet you didn’t think of that letter when we started talking about silent letters in English! But it’s quite common. Have a look at all of these examples of really common English words. Words like:

Guitar, guilt, tongue, guard, colleague, guess.

It’s also not usually pronounced in adverbs like:

Beautifully, wonderfully, carefully.

The letter ‘W’ is silent when it’s at the start of the word before the letter ‘R’, like:

Wrong, wrist, write, wrote.

It’s also not pronounced in these common words:

Who, whoever, whole, two, sword, answer.


Well that’s it for silent letters and for the silent letter series. If you’ve got any questions or comments just put them into the comments section under this video so I can get back to you! Check out my website if you want to study with me and you’re interested in online courses or jump over to my Facebook page and make sure that you follow my page. I do LIVE lessons every week!

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again very soon! Bye for now!

Links mentioned in the video

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