Shhh.. Today we're going over silent letters in English and some of the rules
for them and yes! We even found a word where the R is silent
stick with me you're going to learn a lot about correct English pronunciation
We're starting with I. Why? Because this is the second video in a two-part series
if you didn't know that you must have missed last week's video get it here or
in the video description below. Okay the letter I. I can only think of one
word where it's silent but it's a very common word and I've definitely heard
lots of non-native speakers mispronounce this word. It's business. No extra sound
between Z and N. Business. Just two syllables. Business. The letter J. I can't
think of any examples where the letter J is silent. Well done Jay you're always
pronounced! K. I definitely think you already know the rule. K before N is
silent. Nice, knit, knock, knee, know. This rule doesn't apply if there's a syllable
break in a compound word for example break neck. Have you heard this term it's
used with speed and it means extremely fast. The horse ran at a breakneck speed.
it's not brain Eck. It's not silent. Breakneck. L. We have quite a few examples
of a silent L. Should, would, could. No L sound there. Walk, talk, stock, yoke,
half, calf and like we said in last week's video, salmon. So what's the rule here? No
there isn't really one. Just know these words. I've heard the rule L is silent
after A, O or U but there are just too many exceptions to that rule for it to
make sense. Bolt, bald, salt, cold, solve, pulp, bulb, rule for example. M. This letter
is silent only at the beginning of a word that begins with M N and these
words are very uncommon. The most common is mnemonic. Mnemonic. Notice I'm starting
that with an N sound not M. M is silent. Mnemonic mnemonic. This
means something used to help you remember something. You'll hear it in the
phrase mnemonic device. For example when I was a kid taking piano lessons I used
the phrase 'every good boy does fine' to learn the notes on the staff. E G B D F. A
mnemonic device. N. This letter is silent after M at the end of a word like
damn, him, column, autumn, solemn. But it's not always silent after M in other
places in a word like in the word alumni or chimney where it is pronounced. The
letter O. It's silent in sophomore. Now here we have three O's there and only
one is silent it's the middle one. this is just a two syllable word. Sophomore.
the middle O is silent. Sophomore. I can't think of any more words with a silent O.
The letter P can be silent when it's followed by S at the beginning of the
word. Like in the words Psalm, pseudo, and psychic. It's also silent in PN at the
beginning of a word like pneumonia. It's also silent in the common word receipt
and in raspberry, coup and corp. The letter Q. Another letter that's never silent.
well done Q! Way to stick up for yourself. The letter R. I've heard people say this
is never silent in American English. And maybe I've even said that before myself
but I did find a word. The R is silent probably because we use the British
pronunciation it's Worcester. It's the name of a town in Massachusetts. It's
also in the name of an amazing tasty sauce. Worcestershire sauce. And it has a
silent R. Worcester. The letter S you've probably noticed this is silent in the
word island, Isle, and also debris. Hey guys, popping in here to take a minute to
tell you about Cambly. Do you know about this? It's a website and an app that can
connect you to English teachers and they're offering a deal for you fans of
Rachel's English 15 minutes free one on one with a
teacher also 10% off any lessons you may choose to purchase. As you know I believe
my Academy is the best place to work on pronunciation. But a lot of my students
want specific test prep help and that's something I don't currently offer. With
Cambly you can search for teachers who specialize in TOEFL or IELTS test prep.
You can see a list of teachers who are available right that minute to study
with. Simply click call. It will take you to their virtual classroom where you can
meet one-on-one just like I did earlier this week with Dan. If you want to
schedule a teacher you can do that too. You can read about the teachers and see
their rating. You can even send them a note via chat. What a convenient way to
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rachel-english10 to get 10% off any lessons you may choose to take. Thanks
Cambly for sponsoring this video and supporting the Rachel's English
community. Let's get back to those silent letters. The letter T now here we get
into some words that do not have a T sound and then some words that in the
dictionary do have a T sound but the habit of Americans is to pronounce them
without a T sound. We'll go over the words with officially no T sound
according to the dictionary first. With these words the T is silent. Words that
end in sten, ften or stle, sten. Fasten, listen, moisten.
Glisten. No T. There is an exception and it's the word 'tungsten.' There we do say
the T tungsten. Tttt tungsten. It's one of the elements on the periodic table of
elements. Thistle, whistle, wrestle, bustle, castle. No T. Often and soften. Though I
should say saying the T and often is now accepted it's been done so many times
you'll see both of those pronunciations in the dictionary. Often or often. The T
is also silent in mortgage and at the end of some words rapport, ricochet
gourmet, ballet, beret, Chevrolet. Now let's talk about when the T is unofficially
silent. This is if you look these words up in the dictionary they would probably
still show a T sound but that's not the habit of most Americans. It's really
common for Americans to drop the T between two other consonant sounds and
make it silent. For example Christmas and exactly. It's also quite common to make
it silent after an N like Internet or center or international or wanted. It's
also really common to make a T silent when it's part of an ending consonant
cluster and the next word begins with a consonant. Let's take an example the word
'just.' It ends in the st cluster. When that word is followed by a word that begins
with a consonant it's very common for Americans to drop that T just thought,
just one, just hope, just need, for example. No T sound. The letter U. This is often
silent after G. It's a clue how to pronounce the G rather than a letter
that is itself pronounced. Look at these words: guide, guitar, guess
tongue, baguette, colleague the letter V again another sound in American English
that's never silent. Well done V you did it! W. W is silent in some common words. two,
who, answer, whole and sword. It's also silent at the beginning of a word with
R. Right, wrong, wreck, wrist, wreath, wrinkle, wrestle. Whoo that one has a
silent T too. Wrestle. X. The X is silent in the word faux. This word means fake. You
could use it with fur. This is a faux fur jacket. It's also silent in the phrase
'faux pas' which is an embarrassing mistake in a social situation. For
example: He showed up to the party in jeans. It was a dressy event so it was a
faux pas. The letter Y. Wow!
again here we are almost at the end of the alphabet and we found another letter
that's never silent good job Y.
Silent in rendezvous.
Now if you're French and you're hearing me say this word
and all the words here today that we've borrowed from French
you probably think this woman has horrible pronunciation
please know I totally agree with you.
I have horrible French pronunciation
But when a language adopts the word from another language
they do their own thing with it and this is what we've done.
We've Americanized the pronunciation somewhat but we did keep that silent Z.
Wow! We made it A through Z. So many cases of silent letters in English
What words did you learn today that have silent letters that you didn't know before?
Let me know in the comments below.
The next video to watch is this one which is the one that YouTube has chosen especially for you.
I don't even know what they're choosing but I do trust
so do continue your learning with that video.
Also please subscribe if you haven't already. Make sure to come back here
every Tuesday for a new video.
That's it guys I love teaching the English
thank you for spending your time with me.
That's it and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.