Listen to the following words. They all contain silent letters:
plumber autumn wriggle
There are many words in English that contain silent letters: ‘plumber’ has a silent < b >, ‘autumn’ has a silent < n >, ‘wriggle’ has a silent < w >.
Why does English have silent letters? How can I categorise them?
- In words beginning or ending with a < gn > or a < kn >, the < g > or the < k > will be silent.
E.g: gnome, gnaw, know, knight.
- Words containing < mb > at the end of the root will have a silent < b >. Similarly, < b > is not pronounced at the end of a word (or a root) when it comes before a < t >
E.g: dumb, bomb, doubt, debt.
- Words containing < mn > at the end will have a silent < n >.
E.g: hymn, column, damn, solemn.
Repeat the words:
thumb, comb, gnome, knitting, column, hymn, wrote, wrist
Circle the silent letters:
wrangle, lamb, column, knee, wren, align, limb, kneel, wretched, plumber, wrong, gnostic, wriggle, crumb, knotwrangle, lamb, column, knee, wren, align, limb, kneel, wretched, plumber, wrong, gnostic, wriggle, crumb, knot