2There are many silent letters in the English language, and they can cause difficulties for people learning English as a second language. Silent letters can also cause problems for native children learning to read, spell and speak.Silent letters are the letters in words that make no difference to the sound. So, to put it simply, the letter or letters in a particular word that are silent, do not appear in the pronunciation of the word. But, they do however, appear in the spelling.Silent letters make it very difficult for English learners as they give no clue as to how to correctly spell out and pronounce the word. In fact, most of the common spelling mistakes seen in English writing will be words which feature one or more silent letters.
3Many English words contain silent consonants Many English words contain silent consonants. The words may be difficult to spell because they cannot be sounded out, and there are no general guidelines for spelling them. Study the words so that you can visualize them as you write.Each of the words in the Word Bank contain silent consonants.silent n: column silent s: island silent b: doubt silent k: knack silent gh: droughtsilent p: psalm, psychology silent h: ghetto silent g: gnarled silent w: wrath
4Reasons For Silent Letters Sometimes, there is an exact reason as to why a word will have silent letters.To be able to distinguish the words which sound similar - For example: ‘Plum – Plumb’, ‘Hole – Whole’ or ‘Our – Hour’.We sometimes use silent letters in the English language to show long vowels or hard consonants. Silent letters show the long vowels in rid/ride; the silent letters show the hard consonants in gest/guest.
5Causes Of Silent Letters There are a few reasons why we may have words that feature silent letters.Historical Change – The sound may have dropped out of the word over a certain length of time, but the spelling of that word will have stayed the same: hope, knot, light.New Letter Added – Silent letters may have been added to make the spelling appear more ‘Latin’ or ‘French’: Island, debt, victual.Borrowing From Another Language – Some English words originate from other foreign languages, which is why we may see silent letters: Myrrh, champagne, khaki.
6Silent letters are sometimes used when connecting root words with prefixes and suffixes. There are no rules where silent letters are concerned and unfortunately, you will just have to learn to remember them. However, you may notice that some particular letters in the English alphabet tend to be silent, whereas others will always be heard. The letters N, D, W, G, U, H, T, K, B and L are often found to be silent in many English words.Here are some examples of silent letters in English words:
16Taking the time to study English silent letters will help any student in the long run. They can cause confusion amongst learners of the language, but with persistence and constant practice, silent letters should be a breeze.
17Silent letters factsheet Silent letters are letters that you can't hear when you say the word, but that are there when you write the word. There are no rules, you just have to learn them.
18Silent N Silent D Silent G Silent U Gnome Guest Gnarl Guess Sign Autumn EdgeGnomeGuestDamnHedge GnarlGuessHymnWednesday SignGuitarColumnHandsomeResignGuardHandkerchiefDesign BuildingBadgeForeignerGuiltyWedgeRogueVogueBiscuit
19Silent H Silent T Silent K Silent B Silent L Silent W What Witch Knife LambAlmondWrenWhenFastenKneeThumbPalmWroteWhyCastleKnotNumbYolkWrestlingWhichWatchKnittingCrumbCalmSword
20French Words and Expressions in English Learn the true meanings of French words and expressions commonly used in EnglishOver the years, the English language has borrowed a great number of French words and expressions. Some of this vocabulary has been so completely absorbed by English that speakers might not realize its origins. Other words and expressions have retained their "Frenchness" - a certain je ne sais quoi which speakers tend to be much more aware of (although this awareness does not usually extend to actually pronouncing the word in French). The following is a list of French words and expressions which are commonly used in English.
21Art déco: decorative art Short for art décoratif. Attaché: attached A person assigned to a diplomatic post.Au pair: at par A person who works for a family. (cleaning and/or teaching the children) in exchange for room and board.Avant-garde: before guard Innovative, especially in the arts.Blond Blonde: fair-haired This is the only adjective in English which agrees in gender with the person it modifies: blond is for a man and blonde for a woman. Note that these can also be nouns.Bon appétit: good appetite The closest English equivalent is "Enjoy your meal."Bon vivant: good "liver" Someone who lives well, who knows how to enjoy life.Bon voyage: good trip English has "Have a good trip," but Bon voyage is more elegant.
22Brunette: small, dark-haired female The French word brun, dark-haired, is what English really means by "brunette." The -ette suffix indicates that the subject is small and female.Café au lait: coffee with milk Same thing as the Spanish term café con leche.C'est la vie: that's life Same meaning and usage in both languages.Chic: stylish Chic sounds more chic than "stylish."Déjà vu: already seen This is a grammatical structure in French, as in Je l'ai déjà vu=> I've already seen it. It can also disparage a style or technique that has already been done, as in Son style est déjà vu=> His style is not original. In English, déjà vu refers to the scientific phenomenon of feeling like you have already seen or done something when you're sure that you haven't: a feeling of déjà vu = une impression de déjà vu.
23Eau de Cologne: water from Cologne This is often cut down to simply "cologne" in English. Cologne is the French and English name for the German city Köln.Eau de toilette: toilet water Toilet here does not refer to a commode - see toilette, below. Eau de toilette is a very weak perfume.Fiancé Fiancée: engaged person, betrothed Note that fiancé refers to a man and fiancée to a woman.Genre: type Used mostly in art and film - "I really like this genre..."Je ne sais quoi: I don't know what Used to indicate a "certain something," as in "I really like Ann. She has a certain je ne sais quoi that I find very appealing."Laissez-faire: let it be A policy of non-interference. Note the expression in French is laisser-faire.Matinée: morning In English, refers to the day's first showing of a movie or play. Can also refer to a midday romp with one's lover.
24Rouge: red The English refers to a reddish cosmetic or metal/glass-polishing powder, and can be a noun or a verb.RSVP: respond please This abbreviation stands for Répondez, s'il vous plaît, which means that "Please RSVP" is redundant.Tête-à-tête: head to head A private talk or visit with another person.Toilette: toilet In French, this refers both to the toilet itself and anything related to toiletries; thus the expression "to do one's toilette" - brush hair, do makeup, etc. See eau de toilette, above.Touché: touched Originally used in fencing, now equivalent to "you got me."Voilà !: There it is! Nearly every time I see this in English, it is misspelled as "voilá" or "violà."