Today we're gonna learn how and when to pronounce the letter H, and we're going
to learn right now!
Hi my name is Joe, welcome to my channel. If you'd like to
learn how to improve your spoken English make sure to hit the subscribe button
and the bell, so you don't miss anything. Many British English speakers never
pronounce the letter H, others pronounce it sometimes, but nobody pronounces it
all the time. The mysterious letter H is one of the most commonly mispronounced
letters. In today's lesson we are going to learn why the letter H is sometimes
silent, and how and when to pronounce the letter H.
The history of the letter H.
In the year 1066 the Normans, who came from modern-day France, successfully invaded
Britain. The Normans brought their culture to Britain, which included the
French language. Henry the silent letter H came to Britain with the Normans.
After many hundreds of years Henry changed into a pronounced letter H.
Newly named Henry likes to be loud but occasionally goes back to his old ways
and stays silent. This is why English words with French and Latin roots began
with a silent H but now they are pronounced.
How to pronounce the letter H. It's a voiceless fricative sound that
comes from air passing along the throat. The sound is not made in the mouth, or
from the lips, it comes only from the throat. It's voiceless so there's no
vibration. The mouth and tongue are relaxed and the lips stay open. Imagine
you are steaming up a mirror. For example we have words like help, hand, home,
holiday. We also have expressions like Harry has hairy hands.
So let's look at some of the more common British English words
that start with the pronounce letter H. Habit, hello, history, hero, hamburger, helicopter, humour, horrible,
hospital, host, human, hotel. Now let's look at the common words that start with
a silent letter H. Hour, honour, honest. These words start with a vowel sound so
we need to use an indefinite article. For example:
He left an hour ago. It's an honour to meet you. It was an honest mistake.
The weak H. Weak function words like he, him, his, her, have, had, and has, tend to lose the H
sound if the word doesn't appear at the beginning of the sentence. For example:
He's okay. Is he really? Is he really?
Have you finished? You must have done. You must have done.
Many British English speakers never ever pronounce the letter H. They are known
as H droppers. It's a feature of most British regional accents, including the
accent from London, which is where I'm from. I don't recommend you do this, but
you need to be aware of it, as you will quite often hear native speakers drop
the letter H in films, and series, and if you visited a city like London. So a
sentence like Harry has hairy hands, becomes harry has hairy hands.
Harry has hairy hands. If you haven't already, don't forget to
subscribe, and I'll see you in the next lesson.