Silent ‘l’


– Listen to the following words, what do you notice about the ‘l’?

calm     palm     talk     could

How do I know when ‘l’ is silent?

  • If a word ends in ‘alm’, ‘alk’, ‘alf’, ‘olk’ or ‘ould’, the ‘l’ is usually silent.
  • The presence of a silent ‘l’ often indicates a long vowel sound.
  • Some ‘al’ words pronounced /ɔː/ have an ‘l’ which can be silent or pronounced
 e.g. ‘always’ and ‘although’ (the dark [ɫ] is often inaudible after /ɔː/).

DRILL

– Practise some words with silent ‘l’:

half, Stockholm, should, chalk, yolk, psalm, almond, Lincoln, stalk, Suffolk, wouldn’t.

– Practise some words beginning /ɔː/ with an ‘l’ that can be silent:

although, already, alright, always.

EXERCISE

– Find the odd one out in each line:

A. balm, alter, almond, calf.

B. colonel, Norfolk, alike, salmon. C. algebra, qualm, abolish, colour. D. walk, formula, billing, alarm. E. sold, trawled, would, mould.
A. alter (pronounced ‘l’) B. alike (pronounced ‘l’) C. qualm (silent ‘l’) D. walk (silent ‘l’) E. would (silent ‘l’)