Even unusual letters like Z and J are silent in words that we have adopted from foreign languages, such as marijuana (originally a Spanish word) and laissez-faire (French). But as Merriam-Webster Dictionary points out, one unusual letter is never silent: the letter V.
Rendezvous, while originating from the French language, it is used in the English language.
There is only one letter in the language that is never silent. Can you guess what it is? The letter is V! There are various very valuable v-words, and that V is never silent!
Silent D: The letter D is silent when it comes just before the letters N and G. Examples: Wednesday, pledge, grudge, cadge. The letter D is also not pronounced in the following common words: handsome, handkerchief, sandwich. Silent E: When the letter E comes at the end of words it is usually not pronounced.
In the word 'sandwich', if you looked that up in the dictionary, you WOULD see the D sound. But it's actually never pronounced that way. So Wednesday, Handsome: the dictionary says no D.
F. While some people do in fact pronounce the second f in fifth, the first pronunciation given in our dictionary is the one that omits it. Overall, however, f is to be commended for its performance generally. We'd give it an A, if we were on speaking terms with that letter.
When the letter Y follows a vowel, it is often silent, e.g., day & key. The letter Y can also make the sound as found in word polymer.
A silent “p” can be found at the beginning of words, in the middle, or towards the end. Examples of words with a silent “p” include p sychology, ras p berry, and recei p t.
Letter 'b' is silent in 'plumber'. Letter 'b' is generally not pronounced if letters 'm' and 'b' occur together in a word. Examples : plumb, comb, tomb, plumber etc. This rule is applicable when letters 'm' and 'b' are the parts of the same syllable.
As you can guess, the letter Z is the least commonly used letter in the English alphabet. (In American English, this letter is “zee.”) The letter Q is the second least commonly used letter. In English words, Q is almost always followed by the letter U.
The Icelandic alphabet consists of 32 letters. There are also three letters only used for foreign words, and one deleted letter (which is sometimes still used only for foreign words). The Icelandic language uses the latin alphabet, which is the same as the English alphabet and most Western European languages.
w. Again, often silent at the start of words, before the letter 'r' or, in some question words, before the letter 'h' for example wrong, write, and who. There are some common words which have a silent 'w' in the middle of the word, for example, answer and two.
While different pronunciations for the letter were used in the United States, the famed American lexicographer Noah Webster wrote in An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) that, “It is pronounced zee.” The motivation behind Americans adopting zee is debated.
About the Word:
ZA is the most played word containing the letter Z (and the only playable two-letter word with the letter Z) in tournament SCRABBLE play.
The 'z sound' /z/ is voiced (the vocal cords vibrate during its production), and is the counterpart to the unvoiced 's sound' /s/. To create the /z/, the front of the tongue is placed close to the tooth ridge. The tip of the tongue should be close to the upper backside of the top front teeth.
While not as common, the letter ⟨g⟩ is also usually silent (i.e. it does not reflect any sound) when preceding an ⟨n⟩ at the beginning or end of a word, as in “gnat”, “campaign” and “design”.
Many students try to pronounce these Ls, but in all these words, the L is completely silent. In walk, chalk, and talk, the L comes after an A, and the vowel is pronounced like a short O. Half and calf have an AL, too, but the vowel is pronounced like the short A in staff.
It is not conclusively known why this occurred. However, some researchers believe it was due to the influence of Latin and French during this period, as these languages did not include the 'kn' cluster. This resulted in the 'k' being mispronounced or not pronounced and gradually eliminated.
There are few rules to identify a word with silent H. Often, words beginning with W. Few examples are why, white, what, when, where. Etc.
When /y/ is at the end of a two-syllable word, it is pronounced as a long /eee/ as seen in the words funny, very, baby, and happy. Finally, /y/ is usually pronounced as a long /ay/ when it is in a single syllable words that has an /ay/ in it such as play, way, day, say, and maybe.
In the word, 'scissors', the 'c' is silent.
Silent b is introduced in the word 'lamb'. To help remember this silent letter, there is a story of how the word was originally spelt – lambaz – in old Germanic. Over time the 'baz' at the end of the word was dropped from the pronunciation but the 'b' remained in the spelling of the word.