Words with Silent Letters

5 min read
Words with Silent Letters

Many lament how people can be deceptive. However, feel nothing can be more deceptive than silent letters in English words.

At times, some sneaky letters can make even the most accomplished language experts incorrectly pronounce a word. Therefore, we don’t blame you if you’re guilty of the same, because we too find it tricky to recognize which is a silent letter and which has a subtle sound.

This is why we offer workbooks and printable worksheets that help children ace their language skills. Let’s keep learning and refining our skills so that we become the best readers, writers, and communicators there can be.

In this article, we’re going to team up with you to uncover all the sneaky silent letters hiding in certain English words. Keep reading!

Silent Letters – K can be awfully silent at Times

When listing out silent letters, do remember to add K. You’ve probably heard people referring to ‘K’ as the hard-sounding vowel and they’re not wrong.

We often pronounce it as ‘kah’ or ‘cah’ in words, especially when it’s at the end. But you know where this cheeky letter falls silent?

K is usually silent when it precedes ‘n’ in a word. Did you know that? You probably didn’t even notice that the word “know” you just read also has a silent K before N.

silent letters

Silent Letters – B Loves Tricking Us

You know, the English language tends to smuggle in silent letters when we don’t truly need them? Perhaps the language experts can tell us whether or not we need certain letters but some just seem unnecessary in a word.

B tends to squeeze in where a word does not really need it, especially when it is after an M. However,  it can be silent other times too, such as:

  • Doubt
  • Debt
  • Limb etc


silent words

Silent Letters – The Silly C

Again, just like the letter we discussed above, C too is usually a hard sound on its own and a part of silent letters. However, if you follow it up with h, it tends to mellow down a little, such as in cheers, chair or chess etc. Now when does this letter play hide and seek with us?

Usually, when we follow C with S, it follows silent in the pronunciation. Take a look:

  • Miscellaneous – where c loses its sound identity. You did know that we pronounce miscellaneous as mis-sell-lay-nee-ous right?
  • Then comes muscle where again C becomes silent after S. We pronounce the word as a mussel.


silent letters in english

Silent Letters- P can Follow Suit Too

P seems to be a very devoted family letter and can join hands with K and C when it comes to being silent. Usually, P makes a fancy popping sound at the front of our mouth when we pronounce words like Popsicle, lollipop, and others.

But when we put it before an S, usually in medical words, it tends to fall silent. Want an example? Here it is:

  • Psychotic
  • Psychology
  • Psyche
  • Psychiatry
  • Pseudo

Usually, when PS line up together at the start of a word, it’s a medical word because of their origin. Moreover, that’s not where it ends. P is so sneaky that it can also fall silent at times when it is right in the middle of a word, for example, receipt.

silent words in english

Silent Letters – G Comes in the List Too

For many people, recognizing a silent G is a favorite activity of silent letters. Therefore, they say that certain words sound very normal but just when you think you can spell them normally too, a G suddenly appears.

Take foreign for example: just when you think of spelling it as for- rain, a g comes in between and changes the route.

A Table of Silent Letters

Silent BSilent CSilent DSilent ESilent GSilent H
Silent KSilent LSilent MSilent NSilent P
KnightCatwalk HymnPsychology
KneeTalker AutumnReceipt
KneadYolk ColumnPterosaur
KnitWorkfolks DamnPtarmigan
KnucklePalm LimnPtosis
knowledgeChalk SemicolumnPsalm
KnackScebaulkne  Cupboard
Silent TSilent USilent W



Final Thoughts

Silent letters are those that you don’t pronounce when saying a word. They are only present when we spell them and the English dictionary contains numerous words like these.

Silent letters do not truly follow a pattern and can sometimes sit right at the start of a word, in the middle, or even towards the end. Hence, the only way to conquer these is to remember the words that contain silent letters in the English language.

We have countless words in the English language that contain silent letters and often people can mistake their pronunciation reluctantly.  However, with regular practice and reading, you’ll soon learn to identify the cheeky letters easily!

difficult words to spell with silent letters