You must have been wondering why there are a lot of silent letters in English. This is because English took many of its words from foreign languages, such as Greek and French, and although the pronunciation of some words have changed over the last two or three hundred years, the spelling has stayed the same.
I have explained the silent letter H in the previous article. If you haven’t read it, click here. So today, you’re going to learn the silent letter L.
Here are the basic rules:
1. If a word ends with ‘alk’, the letter L is silent and the letter A is pronounced with the ‘o’ sound.
UK: talk /tɔːk/ US: /tɑːk/
2. If a word ends with ‘alf’, the letter L is unvoiced and the letter A is pronounced as the short ‘a’ sound.
UK: half /hɑːf/ US: /hæf/
3. If a word ends with ‘ould’, the letter L is invoiced and the ‘ou’ is pronounced with the short ‘u’ sound.
UK: could /kʊd/ US: /kəd/
4. If a word ends with ‘olk’, the letter L is silent and the letter O is pronounced with the long ‘o’ sound.
UK: folk /fəʊk/ US: /foʊk/
Now try this. Which words in this sentence should be pronounced with the silent L?
“Colonel Lincoln ate half of the salmon steak. He put the other half in his lunch box and walked back home.”
Get the answer here