Languages › English as a Second Language Pronunciation - Silent Letters Share Flipboard Email Print Yulia.M / Getty Images English as a Second Language Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Writing Skills Reading Comprehension Grammar Business English Resources for Teachers By Kenneth Beare English as a Second Language (ESL) Expert TESOL Diploma, Trinity College London M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music Kenneth Beare is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and course developer with over three decades of teaching experience. our editorial process Kenneth Beare Updated July 09, 2018 Silent letters are letters that are not pronounced in a word. There are many silent letters in English, including the letter 'e' at the end of a word, the letter 'b' following 'm,' and many, many more. Can you guess which letter is silent in these words? hope - silent 'e'comb - silent 'b'island - silent 's'bought - silent 'gh' Here is a list of common letter combinations with silent letters in alphabetical order. This list contains most of the silent letters that give English as a second language students difficulties. Silent B B is not pronounced when following M at the end of a word. climb - I climbed the tree in the park.crumb - There's a crumb of bread on your lapel.dumb - That's a really dumb question.comb - Do you carry a comb with you? Silent C C is not pronounced in the ending "scle." muscle - He's building up muscle with that exercise. Silent D D is not pronounced in the following common words: handkerchief - Adding a handkerchief to your suit provides a touch of class.Wednesday - I'm not working this Wednesday. Silent E E is not pronounced at the end of words and usually makes the vowel long. hope - I hope to see you soon.drive - I'll drive the car to Seattle tomorrow.gave - Jennifer gave him a book for his birthday. write - Do you write letters anymore? site - We visited the monument site last week. Silent G G is often not pronounced when followed by an N. champagne - Let's drink champagne!foreign - She works for a foreign bank.sign - The sign says 'exit'. feign - Don't feign that you care! Silent GH GH is not pronounced before T and at the end of many words. thought - I thought about you last week.through - Let's take a drive through the park.daughter - My daughter was born in Pisa.light - There's a beautiful light in the sky. Silent H H is not pronounced when following W. Some speakers whisper the H before the W. what - What did you say?when - When does the train leave? where - Where are we going? H is not pronounced at the beginning of many words. Use the article "an" with unvoiced H. Here are some of the most common: hour - I'll see you in an hour. honest - To be honest, this is difficult. honor - It's an honor to have you over for dinner. Silent K K is not pronounced when followed by N at the beginning of a word. knife - I cut the fish open with a knife.knee - Bend your knees and jump. know - Do you know the answer? Silent L L is often not pronounced before L, D, F, M, K. calm - It's a calm day in paradise. salmon - Let's have salmon for dinner. talk - Let's talk soon. should - You should come over next week. Silent N N is not pronounced following M at the end of a word. autumn - It's a beautiful autumn day.hymn - Open to hymn 25 and let's sing. Silent P P is not pronounced at the beginning of many words using the suffix "psych" and "pneu". psychiatrist - The psychiatrist asked lots of questions.pneumonia - Pneumonia can be a very dangerous disease. Silent S S is not pronounced before L in the following words: island - We took a ferry to the island. Silent T T is not pronounced in these common words: castle - The castle stood upon the hill overlooking the valley. fasten - fasten your seatbelts and lets go for a ride. listen - Listen carefully to what I say. Silent U U is not pronounced before after G and before a vowel. guess - I guess I don't know the answer.guitar - While my guitar gently weeps. guest - She's our guest tonight. Silent W W is not pronounced at the beginning of a word followed by an R. wrap - Wrap up the present for Tom.write - I need to write an essay tomorrow. wrong - I'm afraid you are wrong. W is not pronounced with these three pronouns: who - Who do you know in town?whose - Whose job is it?whom - Whom should we ask.