Those Silent English Letters

German is mostly written the way it is spoken. Unlike English.

English has these sneaky letters we call silent letters. You see them, but you don’t say them.

Let’s play a game. Read these words out loud, but don’t say the letters in bold. See if you can hear the difference:

  • B: doubt (dout), debt (det), thumb (thum)
  • C: muscle (musel), scissors (sissors)
  • E: like (lik – long i sound), cake (cak – long a sound)
  • GH: ghost (gost), night (nite – long i sound)
  • H: hour (our)
  • K: knife (nife), know (now), knee (nee)
  • P: psychology (sychology)
  • W: write (rite), wrong (rong), two (to), answer (anser), sword (sord)

Well done!

There are many more of these silent letters hiding in English words. Need help pronouncing a word? Head over to and listen to a native speaker say it.

Can you think of any other words with silent letters? Share them in the comments. We can all learn from each other.


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Foto Christine Sparks

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