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Words with Silent Letters

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Words with Silent Letters
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.2.3.E

Basics on the topic Words with Silent Letters

Watch as Dee and Kala learn all about silent letters!

Transcript Words with Silent Letters

It’s nap time and Dee is very tired. But, Kala is reading aloud. "Don't worry, Dee! I will be very quiet. I'll only read words with silent letters." "I don't think it works that way." Let's help explain "Words with Silent Letters" to Kala. We know that letters make sounds and that letters can change their sounds when they are partnered with other letters in a word. But sometimes, when two letters are paired together in a special order, one of those letters stays silent! We still need both letters to spell the word correctly, but we do not hear one of them when it is pronounced, like in the word write. This can help us see the difference between words that sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things. Silent letters can be found in the beginning, middle, and end of words. But, the pairs we will learn about today are mostly found at the beginning and end of words. Let's start with WR as in wrist . The W in the beginning is silent. We only hear the letters R, I, S, T, but we write it W, R, I, S, T. The next pair is RH as in rhino. The H in the second spot is silent. We only hear the letters R, I, N, O. But we write R, H, I, N, O. Another silent letter pair is MB like in the word lamb, where the B at the end is silent! The only letters we hear are L, A, M. But, we still write the letter B at the end of the word. Next is the pair GN as in gnat. In this pair, the letter G doesn't make a sound. We only pronounce the letters N, A, T. But, we still must write the letter G first when we spell the word. KN is a silent letter pair as well. We see it in a word like knit. We don't hear the K in the beginning, we only say the letters N, I, T, but we spell it with the K to tell it apart from its homonym which means something completely different! MN is another silent letter pair. Let's look at the word autumn. We do not hear the letter N at the end when we say it. But we can see that it is there when we write it. Finally, there is the pair GH as in ghost. The letter H is silent here. We only pronounce the letters G, H, O, S, T even though H is written in the second spot. Now that we know about the silent letters, let's try to spot them in some examples. Here is the word climb. Which letter is silent? The letter B is silent here. It is part of the pair MB. Here is the next word sign. Which letter is silent? The letter G is silent. It is part of the pair GN. Today we learned about these silent letter pairs. When we see them in a word, one is silent, but we still need both letters to spell the word correctly. "All of that learning made me tired! I need a nap!" "Really?! I found it positively energizing. I think I'll stay up to learn more!"

Words with Silent Letters exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Words with Silent Letters .
  • Can you help Kala read out loud?

    Hints

    Think about which letter you cannot hear in words with these letter pairs.

    The letters that stay silent are shown in grey.
    The letters that you can hear when the word is pronounced are shown in blue.

    Solution

    Listen to the audio to hear each of the words read out loud.

  • Can you find all the silent letter pairs?

    Hints

    Can you think of a word that has each letter pair in it?

    For example, the word small starts with the letters sm.

    Saying the word you think of out loud can help you figure out if there are any silent letters in it.

    If you say a word out loud that has a letter pair from above, but you can only hear one of the letters, that means it is a silent letter pair.

    For example, write starts with the letters wr. In this word, you can only hear the letters r, i, t and e. You cannot hear the letter w. This means wr is a silent letter pair.

    Solution

    Above shows all the silent letter pairs in yellow.

    • In the pair gn, the letter g doesn't make a sound, like in the word gnome.
    • In the pair kn, the letter k doesn't make a sound, like in the word knight.
    • In the pair wr, the letter w doesn't make a sound, like in the word write.
    • In the pair gh, the letter h doesn't make a sound, like in the word spaghetti.
    • In the pair mn, the letter n doesn't make a sound, like in the word autumn.
    • In the pair mb, the letter b doesn't make a sound, like in the word lamb.
  • What word is it?

    Hints

    The word gnat has the silent letter pair gn

    In this pair, the letter “g” doesn’t make a sound.

    We only pronounce the letters “n a t" but we still must write the letter “g” first when we spell the word.

    Do the words above have silent word pairs?

    Look at the pictures and think about the word the picture shows.

    Which words contain one of these silent letter pairs?

    Solution

    mn is a silent word pair. We do not hear the letter “n” when we say the word autumn.

    kn is a silent word pair. We do not hear the letter "k" when we say the word knit.

    wr is a silent word pair. We do not hear the letter "w" when we say the word wrist.

    The word rice does not have any silent word pairs in it.

  • What words have a silent letter in them?

    Hints

    Read each word carefully out loud.

    Can you find any of the silent letter pairs you have learned about?

    This story has the silent letter pair "lk".

    In the words chalk and talk you do not pronounce the letter l.

    Can you find a word that uses this silent letter pair "lk" in the story?

    Solution

    Knock has the silent letter pair kn.
    We don't hear the letter k in the word.
    We only pronounce the letters n, o, c, and k.

    Walks has the silent letter pair lk.
    We don't hear the letter l in the word.
    We only pronounce the letters w, a, k, and s.

    Ghost has the silent letter pair gh.
    We don't hear the letter h in the word.
    We only pronounce the letters g, o, s, and t.

  • Which letter is silent?

    Hints

    Look at the word carefully, do you see any silent letter pairs in the word?

    Read the word out loud, are their any letters you do not hear?

    kn is a silent letter pair.

    Which letter, k or n, do you hear when you say the word out loud?

    Which letter is silent?

    Solution

    The letter k is a silent letter in the word knob.

    When you say knob out loud, you only hear the letters n, o, and b.

    But we still must write the letter k first when we spell the word.

  • What is the missing silent letter?

    Hints

    Look at each picture carefully, what is it?

    Now look at the letters next to the missing letter, can you think of what silent letter pair they might make?

    What letter could you add to each word in order to make a silent letter pair?

    Solution

    The image above shows the four words spelled correctly.

    Sign has the silent letter pair gn.
    We don't hear the letter g in the word.
    We only pronounce the letters s, i, and n.

    Comb has the silent letter pair mb.
    We don't hear the letter b in the word.
    We only pronounce the letters c, o, and m.

    Knife has the silent letter pair kn.
    We don't hear the letter k in the word.
    We only pronounce the letters n, i, f, and e.

    Wrinkle has the silent letter pair wr.
    We don't hear the letter w in the word.
    We only pronounce the letters r, i, n, k, l, and e.