Give it a try

In primary school it took me a good deal of time to learn to pronounce No Doubt properly, then they came dumb and numb and still I know people who  pronounce it [knaif] (rolleyes).

Here we have a nice collection of silent, or, in other words – useless letters in our beloved English.

A as in BREAD                        [bred]
B as in DEBT                            [det]
C as in INDICTMENT            [in’daitmənt]
D as in HANDKERCHIEF     [‘hæŋkətʃif]
E as in GIVE                             [giv]
F as in HALFPENNY              [‘heipni]
G as in GNAW                         [nɔ:]
H as in HOUR                        [аuə]
I as in FRIEND                      [frend]
J as in MARIJUANA            [,mæri’jwa:nə]
K as in KNOW                       [nоu]
L as in CALM                         [ka:m]
M as the first M in MNEMONIC   [ni:’mɔnik]
N as in AUTUMN                  [‘ɔ:təm]
O as in PEOPLE                    [pi:pl]
P as in PSALM                       [sa:m]
Q as in COLQUHOUN (a Scottish surname) [dunno, sorreh]
R as in FORECASTLE          [‘fouksl]
S as in ISLAND                      [‘ailənd]
T as in CASTLE                      [‘ka:sl]
U as in GUARD                      [ga:d]
V as in MILNGAVIE (a Scottish place name) [dunno (again)]
W as in WRONG                   [rɔŋ]
X as in SIOUX                        [su:]
Y as in PEPYS                        [piːps]
Z as in RENDEZVOUS         [‘rɔndivu:] (yes, the-french-one)

Via: Silent English

Yet even taking into account all of the examples (and all the other words not mentioned here) we could barely compare to the French, e.g.:

beaucoup  [bo-koo]

On the other hand there are the Americans who tend to simplify everything and write the through – thru (a bit too much for my liking).

I’ll stick to the British (even silent) English, thank you very much,


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This blog is Zoe's way to spread the joy of finding and learning interesting bits about English. Join her and learn something new every time.

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