Spelling rules system in the english language isn’t so simple like other leading languages. There is no dearth of examples of discrepancies between spelling and pronounciaton. Besides, the cases of exceptions and silent letters in the english language make the whole matter more complex to understand. That’s why I have decided to make it more simple as well as easy in this blog, “Silent letters in english words.”
What does silent letter mean..
Silent letters are those letters which are used in the spelling of the words but remain silent in the pronunciation. Second, when we add suffixes to these words, the silent letters are either remain in place or dropped to make appropriate sense. For example, syllable ‘e’ generally remains silent whenever it is placed in the last position of the given word. Simply, these are the letters which are used in spelling but remain absent in pronounciaton.
Rules for silent “e” syllable
• Whenever there is a word ending with “e” syllable in the last and we need to add a suffix that begins with vowel, then the last syllable “e” is dropped to form the new word.
Examples –Create + Ing = creating; suffocate + ation = suffocation, suffocating; move + able = movable, moving; care + Ing = caring.
Exceptions = mile + age = mileage; sale + able = saleable.
• But, in case of suffixes starting with consonants, the final syllable “e” remain in place.
Examples — Move + mentioned = movement; care + full = careful.
Exceptions –Argue + mentioned = argument; true + ly = truly; due + ly = duly; whole + ly = wholly; & nine + th = ninth.
• Most importantly, whenever there is “ce” and “ge” at the last of the given word, then final ‘e’ doesn’t get dropped before a suffixes beginning with vowels –A, O, U ; but dropped in case of suffixes starting with vowels –E’ or ‘I’
Examples — Manage + able = manageable, managing, service + able = serviceable, servicing; change + able = changeable, changing; notice + able = noticeable, noticing.
Number of silent letters in english words
• B = remains silent if it follows “T” and is preceded by “M”
Examples — comb, tomb, bomb, debt, etc.
• N = if it is placed after “M” = columns, condemn.
• L = it remains silent, if it is placed before –M, K, F, B = palm, calf, paslm, balm, would, calm, talk etc.
• K = if it comes before “N”= knot, know, knock, knife, etc.
• P = doesn’t get pronounced when it is placed before –“N & S”
• “G” before “N” and “C” after “S” remains silent.
Examples–sign, resign, reign, scent, science, scene, scenario etc.
• H = before “O” is mute = hour, honour
• U = after “A &CH” = church, guard, guarantee,
• W = before “R & after S” remains silent = wrap, wrong, answer, sword etc.
• GH = before “T” = ought, thought, though, night, sight bright etc.
• D = before “G” = edge, bridge, budget.
• Whenever, there is “ten” is placed at the end of the word, in this case, “T” remains silent = listen, soften etc.
These are some letters which remains silent in the specific situation.