Words with Silent Letters from A-Z (with Pronunciation Video)

Silent letters are a fascinating feature of the English language that often reflect its history and the influences of other languages. While they can be challenging to learn, understanding the patterns and reasons behind them can make them easier to master. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the phenomenon of silent letters, provide common examples, and delve into the historical reasons behind their existence.

Silent Letters in English

Silent letters in English can be a source of confusion for both language learners and native speakers alike. These are letters that, while present in the spelling of a word, are not pronounced when the word is spoken. Understanding silent letters is crucial for proper pronunciation and spelling.

What is a silent letter? A silent letter is a letter that, in a particular word, does not correspond to any sound in the word’s pronunciation. One of the noted difficulties of English spelling is a high number of silent letters, they make the spelling of words different from their pronunciation.

One of the most common silent letters is the letter ‘e’ at the end of words. It’s typically silent but serves an important role in indicating the pronunciation of the preceding vowel, often making it a long vowel. For instance, in the word “cake,” the ‘e’ at the end signals that the ‘a’ is pronounced as /eɪ/, rather than as a short vowel /æ/, as in “cat.”

Another frequent silent letter is ‘k’ when it precedes an ‘n’ at the beginning of words. This combination is a remnant of Old English and is found in words like “knight” (/naɪt/) and “knee” (/niː/). The ‘k’ was once pronounced, but over time, the pronunciation shifted to a silent ‘k.’

The letter ‘h’ can also be silent, particularly when it follows ‘w’. In words like “what” (/wɒt/), “when” (/wɛn/), and “why” (/waɪ/), the ‘h’ is not pronounced. This pattern is a vestige of where the ‘wh’ sound in Old English was pronounced more distinctly.

Additionally, the letter ‘l’ can be silent in some words, especially when it comes after certain vowels, as in “would” (/wʊd/), “should” (/ʃʊd/), and “could” (/kʊd/). The ‘l’ in these words is a historical relic, as it was pronounced in Middle English.

Silent ‘g’ and ‘h’ often occur in words with a Greek origin, such as “gnome” (/noʊm/) and “psychology” (/

sɑɪˈkɒlədʒi/), where the initial ‘g’ and ‘p’ are not voiced. These spellings reflect the words’ etymologies, as the letters were pronounced in the original Greek. Similarly, words borrowed from French sometimes retain their silent letters, such as the silent ‘s’ in “debris” (/ˈdeɪ.briː/) and the silent ‘t’ in “ballet” (/ˈbæ.leɪ/).

The silent ‘b’ often appears in words after ‘m’ at the end of a word, as in “lamb” (/læm/) or “dumb” (/dʌm/). This pattern traces back to changes in pronunciation from Middle to Modern English, where the ‘b’ stopped being voiced.

It’s important to note that while many silent letters can be attributed to historical spelling conventions that have not been updated to match modern pronunciation, some silent letters still serve a purpose in distinguishing between homophones. For example, the silent ‘w’ in “write” (/raɪt/) helps to differentiate it from “right” (/raɪt/).

Words With Silent Letters

Here’s a list of common words with silent letters in English.

Words With Silent Letters in EnglishPin

Words with Silent Letter A

  • Artistically
  • Logically
  • Musically
  • Physically
  • Critically

Words with Silent Letter B

  • Aplomb
  • Bomb
  • Climb
  • Comb
  • Coulomb
  • Crumb
  • Debt
  • Doubt
  • Dumb
  • Jamb
  • Lamb
  • Limb
  • Numb
  • Plumber
  • Subtle
  • Succumb
  • Thumb
  • Tomb
  • Womb

Words with Silent Letter C

  • Abscess
  • Ascend
  • Ascent
  • Conscience
  • Conscious
  • Crescent
  • Descend
  • Disciple
  • Evanesce
  • Fascinate
  • Fluorescent
  • Muscle
  • Obscene
  • Resuscitate
  • Scenario
  • Scene
  • Scent
  • Science
  • Scissors
  • Transcend

Words with Silent Letter D

  • Badge
  • Edge
  • Handkerchief
  • Handsome
  • Hedge
  • Sandwich
  • Wedge
  • Wednesday

Words with Silent Letter E

  • Age
  • Breathe
  • Bridge
  • Change
  • Clothes
  • Gene
  • Hate
  • Like
  • Love
  • Please
  • Vegetable

Words with Silent Letter G

  • Align
  • Assign
  • Benign
  • Campaign
  • Champagne
  • Cologne
  • Consign
  • Design
  • Feign
  • Foreign
  • Gnarl
  • Gnarly
  • Gnome
  • Reign
  • Resign
  • Sign

Words with Silent Letter H

  • Ache
  • Anchor
  • Archaeology
  • Architect
  • Chaos
  • Character
  • Charisma
  • Chemical
  • Chlorine
  • Choir
  • Chord
  • Choreograph
  • Chrome
  • Echo
  • Ghost
  • Honest
  • Hour
  • Mechanic
  • Monarchy
  • Orchestra
  • Psychic
  • Rhythm
  • Scheme
  • School
  • Stomach
  • Tech
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Whether
  • Which
  • While
  • White
  • Why

Words with Silent Letter I

  • Business
  • Parliament

Words with Silent Letter K

  • Knack
  • Knead
  • Knee
  • Kneel
  • Knew
  • Knickers
  • Knife
  • Knight
  • Knitting
  • Knob
  • Knock
  • Knot
  • Know
  • Knowledge
  • Knuckle

Words with Silent Letter L

  • Almond
  • Balm
  • Calf
  • Calm
  • Chalk
  • Could
  • Folk
  • Half
  • Palm
  • Salmon
  • Should
  • Talk
  • Walk
  • Would
  • Yolk

Words with Silent Letter N

  • Autumn
  • Column
  • Damn
  • Hymn

Words with Silent Letter P

  • Coup
  • Cupboad
  • Pneumonia
  • Pseudo
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychic
  • Psychology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychotic
  • Raspberry
  • Receipt

Words With Silent Letters in EnglishPin

Words with Silent Letter S

  • Aisle
  • Island
  • Patios

Words with Silent Letter T

  • Apostle
  • Bristle
  • Bustle
  • Butcher
  • Castle
  • Christmas
  • Fasten
  • Glisten
  • Hustle
  • Listen
  • Match
  • Moisten
  • Mortgage
  • Nestle
  • Often
  • Rustle
  • Scratch
  • Soften
  • Thistle
  • Watch
  • Whistle
  • Witch
  • Wrestle

Words with Silent Letter U

  • Baguette
  • Biscuit
  • Building
  • Circuit
  • Disguise
  • Guard
  • Guess
  • Guest
  • Guild
  • Guile
  • Guilt
  • Guitar
  • Rogue
  • Silhouette
  • Tongue
  • Vogue

Words with Silent Letter W

  • Answer
  • Awry
  • Playwright
  • Sword
  • Two
  • Whole
  • Wrack
  • Wrap
  • Wrapper
  • Wrath
  • Wreath
  • Wreck
  • Wreckage
  • Wren
  • Wrench
  • Wrestling
  • Wretched
  • Wriggle
  • Wring
  • Wrinkle
  • Wrist
  • Wrong
  • Wrote

Silent Letters | Picture

Words with Silent Letters in English

Words With Silent Letters in EnglishPin

List of Words with Silent Letters in English

Words with Silent Letters from A-Z (with Pronunciation Video) 1Pin

Words With Silent Letters | Pronunciation Video

Learn the list of words with silent letters with American English pronunciation.

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