Spelling in English is hard to handle at the best of times, but later, when you read it can be almost impossible to know how to pronounce some words.
Here is a list of words that contain silent letters:
- Examples: lamb, climbing, plumber, limb, crumb, dumb, comb, bomb, thumb, climb, tomb, debt, doubt, debtor, doubtful, subtle, subtleness
- Examples: what, when, where, whether, why, hour, honest, honour, heir, ghost, honest, while, white, rhythm
- Examples: Knob, Knot, Knickers, knuckle, knack, knight, knife, knee, know, knock, knowledge, knead
- Examples: calm, half, talk, walk, would, should, could, calf, salmon, yolk, chalk, folk, balm
- Examples: Psychiatrist, pneumonia, pneumatic, psychotherapy, psychotic, psychologist, pseudonym, Pterodactyl
- Examples: Island, isle, aisle, islet
- Examples: fasten, witch, castle, christmas, mortgage, listen, often, whistle, thistle, bustle, hasten, soften, rapport, gourmet, ballet, butcher
- Examples: biscuit, league, guide, circuit, guess, guidance, guitar, guest, guild, guard
- Examples: wrangle, wriggle, wrap, write, wrong, wring, wreck, wrestle, wrap, wrist, who, whose, whom, whole, whoever, answer, sword, two
Tips to improve
1. You should listen and read at the same time. Use the TV with subtitles, audio books or even study books with the dialogue in paper form. This way you will get used to hearing how words are pronounced as well a written.
2. Read out load and get others to listen and correct you.
3. Use frequency phrases. A great way is to practice and review target vocabulary. You should apply vocabulary that you have difficulty with to contexts that you understand and can remember.