Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Silent H

The English letter h is usually pronounced, but in a number of words it is silent. This is an example of sound change. The spelling reflects an older pronunciation of the language.

Here is a list of words which begin with a silent h:

heir
honest
honour
hors d'oeuvre
hour

In British English the h is pronounced in herb. However, in American English it isn't. In the name Herb (short for Herbert) the h is pronounced.

The letter h is also silent in other positions in the word. Here is a list:

echo
exhaust
exhibition
ghost
rhinoceros
rhubarb
rhythm
school
thyme
vehicle

The h in English is usually pronounced. This is the case in words such as happy, hill, hotel, lightouse and reheat. In certain words, however, the h is no longer pronounced. This is the result of deletion, a common sound change in the languages of the world.

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