Fun With Silent Letters


Here is just a brief sampling of examples. . .

A is silent when ea makes the short e sound:  head, bread, deaf, meant

B is silent in debt, lamb, tomb, climb, numb, plumb, comb, thumb, crumb, doubt, subtle

C is silent in muscle, yacht, indict, scissors, landscape scene, scent, black, science (c sounds like an s next to e, i, y)  ***A clever web page visitor commented that on the sc examples, perhaps the s is the silent letter, since c usually sounds like an s next to e, i, and y!***

D is silent in Wednesday, handkerchief, (in dge in words ~ fudge, bridge, ledge, the d is silent and g sounds like a j next to e, i, and y)

E is silent in heist, feud, hope (and other magic e words), great (when ea sounds like long a)

One F is silent in stiff, cuff, scoff (double the last f on one syllable short vowel words)

G is silent in gnaw, gnome, phlegm, straight, though, foreign, champagne, cologne, high (igh says long i)

H is silent in honor, heir, ghost, hour, hurrah, Pooh, khaki, Gandhi, chord, whistle ~ (in all wh words the h is silent), school, night (igh words say long i)

I is silent in business, fashion, cushion, pail, receive, believe, juice

J is silent in. . . .can you think of one?  I can’t!

K is silent in know, knee, knock, knead, knot, knife, knickers, knight, knowledge

L is silent in talk, folk, salmon, colonel, psalm, calf, half, yolk, chalk, calm, will, tall (the double ll words ~ you only hear one l.  L is doubled on one syllable short vowel words)

M is silent in mnemonic

N is silent in autumn, solemn, condemn, hymn, column,

O is silent in leopard, jeopardy, people

P is silent in psalm, cupboard, receipt, corps, pneumonia, psychology

Q is silent in lacquer

One R is silent in myrrh, catarrh

S is silent in isle, aisle, island, debris, Illinois, mess (when ss is double at the end, you only hear one s as in brass, fuss.  The s is doubled on one syllable short vowel words.)

T is silent in often, thistle, fasten, mortgage, ballet, ricochet, Christmas, gourmet, tsunami, rapport, asthma, listen, castle, soften, potpourri, watch ~ any tch words ~ you don’t hear the t

U is silent in build, guild, plague, guest, questionnaire (all qu words), guitar, guilt, tongue, colleague, guide, dialogue

V is silent in. . . .can you think of one?  I can’t!

W is silent in whole, write, sword, answer, Greenwich, two, wrist, hawk

X is silent in. . . .can you think of one?  I can’t!

Y is silent in prayer, mayor

Z is silent in rendezvous, jazz, buzz  (when the word ends in double z you only hear one z.  You double the z in one syllable short vowel words)



Araujo, Judith E., M. Ed., CAGS. “Fun With Silent Letters.” Mrs. Judy Araujo, Reading Specialist. N.p., 9 June 2012. Web. <>.

Graphics are from Google Images.  Right click on them.


 I am happy to share my pages, but please cite me as you would expect your students to cite their sources.  Copyscape alerts me to duplicate content.  Please respect my work.


Comments are closed.