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There are silent letters in most English words!

2 months ago
So often, I find myself telling a student something like this: 'Yes, it does look like it could be pronounced like that, but it is actually pronounced like this'. Why? Because the English language is full of silent letters!

I've been thinking about this a lot recently, and it led me to do a little research. The results were incredible to me - as a native speaker - but probably less surprising if you are trying to learn English.

Amazingly, about two thirds (or 67%) of English words have silent letters in them. There's no point in giving examples, because there are so many!

But why is this? Well, a lot of it is to do with the fact that English pretends to be one language, but it has strong influences from so many other languages - German, French, Latin, Norse, Irish, Welsh...the list goes on and on.

What silent letter words are the most confusing for you? Does your native language have silent letters?