Certain words in the English language have silent letters that at one time, in history, were pronounced.
Some letters, which are no longer sounded, were once stressed hundreds of years ago.
For example, in knight, there was an 'k' sound before the 'n'.
A silent letter in a word, is a letter that we do not pronounce.
Another way of thinking of a silent letter is as a letter whose presence cannot be predicted from the pronunciation of the word.
Silent k, as in the words 'knife', 'knee' and 'knapsack'.
Silent w, as in the words 'write', 'wren' and 'wriggle'.
Silent b, as in the words 'thumb' and 'subtle'.
Silent t, as in 'castle', 'nestle' and 'whistle'.
Why do we have silent letters, they just seem confusing?
Silent letters do have their uses!
They can be beneficial when distinguishing between homophones, for example: 'know'/'no' or, 'band'/'banned'.
Silent letters can change the pronunciation of words, even though they are actually silent!
For example: 'sin'/'sign' or, 'rat'/'rate'.
This activity will help you locate silent letters and spell words with silent letters.