Silent Letters

There are many times when letters in words are not spoken. These are called silent letters and examples are:

Silent b thumb, limb
Occurs before t or m at the end of words (or before syllables)
Silent g gnome, foreign, sign
Occurs before n
Silent h wheel, ghost, honour, rhyme
Usually occurs after w or r, or sometimes on it’s own
  rh:    rhyme, rhubarb, rhino
  wh:   what, wheel, whisper

Silent k knight, knot, knee
Is silent before n
Silent l this is called ‘quiet’ l, when it comes before k or m:
Walk, salmon, yolk, folk
Silent n autumn, condemn, hymn
Silent p raspberry, cupboard, psalm
Silent s isle
Silent t This comes after an s:
listen, whistle, castle
Silent w This comes before the letter r:
wrap, wrote, write, wrist


A long time ago, these letters may have been spoken as part of the word.