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10 Words that Start with Silent Letters | English Pronunciation | Learn English for Free with Max

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Click CC for subtitles! Pneumonia, gnome, tsunami, etc. Learn how to say 10 words that begin with silent letters, as well as some pronunciation rules. Yes, there are some rules here! I focus on British pronunciation, but sometimes give the American pronunciation as well. For more English lessons, visit my channel, English with Max. All of the videos are free. These include free English vocabulary videos, English grammar videos, English pronunciation videos, English tips, and various other English lessons. This channel aims at helping people learn and improve their English - whether they have been learning English for a while or have recently started. I am a native speaker from Australia. I mainly speak British English. Stalk me: https://www.facebook.com/EnglishWithMax https://twitter.com/EnglishWithMax https://www.instagram.com/englishwithmax/ If you've read all of the above, write "I lick donuts before I buy them" in the comments.
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Text Comments (79)
English with Max (1 year ago)
Spread the love! If you would like to add subtitles in your own language, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?ref=player&v=5U6r0M-Df6w
English with Max (1 year ago)
😀
Just_Like YOU (1 year ago)
universe*
Just_Like YOU (1 year ago)
English with Max The univers is occasionally kind to us. = Вселенная время от времени милоства к нам. Great I like it.
Fazlı Durmuş (22 days ago)
thank you so much
Sudhakar Palanivelu (7 months ago)
very useful ! Thank you madam.
Kevin Fegan (8 months ago)
Have you done any other videos about words that begin with a silent letter (or a letter that is sometimes silent)? The first that comes to mind is (O)possum, but also (K)nowledge, (H)our, (H)onour, (P)terodactyl, as well as these: (P)sychiatrist, (P)neumonia, (P)neumatic, (P)sychotherapy, (P)sychotic, (P)sychologist, (P)seudonym (some of which you have mentioned).
English with Max (8 months ago)
Yes! I made a video with words that start with a silent H. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT7Ebp2pIBo
Kevin Fegan (8 months ago)
I enjoy your videos, and this one did not disappoint. Yes, "Tsar", in US English, is definitely pronounced without the "T" (silent) and with the "R": "Zar" (like "Bar") as opposed to "Za" ("Zah"). It's funny (to me), that for all the other words that you mentioned a different pronunciation between UK and US, I could barely, if at all sense any difference in your pronunciations. You spoke the UK pronunciations of those words the same as I would (here in the US), and your US pronunciations of those words sounded (mostly) identical, or with an ever so slightly subtle difference that for me was too subtle to be considered a different pronunciation.
English with Max (8 months ago)
Thank you :). I probably should have said the words slower, because there is a definite difference, and that's also reflected in the phonetic transcriptions. These websites are also pretty good for hearing the different pronunciations: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/ https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/pneumonia?q=pneumonia But they only give "standard pronunciation", which is what I try to do in my videos. It's possible that some Americans' pronunciation is closer to the British and vice versa ;).
Long Nguyen (1 year ago)
Good weekend Max
Thomas Schmitt (1 year ago)
Interesting video but maybe next time you can give a short explanation for every word, what it means. Because this time you didnt explain a few words and i head to research it.
dmartinfpro (10 months ago)
They're simple words.
Thomas Schmitt (1 year ago)
Yes you are right, it just stops the flow when you have to stop the video and look the words up.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi Thomas, I don't explain every word in my pronunciation videos because my viewers have different levels and different native languages. Plus, using a dictionary is an important part of independent learning!
emilio campagnoli (1 year ago)
cool video! I enjoyed it a lot! XD
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Emilio!
aslam malano (1 year ago)
your are really great
English with Max (1 year ago)
Oh, thanks :)
Tikus241 (1 year ago)
Very useful to know rules for pronunciation.
English with Max (1 year ago)
👍
Christian Rendon (1 year ago)
I love your videos but if there's something I love even more than that is your beauty. greetings from Mexico
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Christian ;)
EmeritusE (1 year ago)
Are you aware if "silent letters" are a curiosity that's exclusive to the English language or is this found in other languages, like Spanish, French, or German as well?
EmeritusE (1 year ago)
I'm just plain old American. I did have a friend who was Filipino, who I helped study to become a Montessori teacher a few years ago. Her proficiency in English wasn't the best so I learned a bit of Tagalog to help covey the purpose of the course studies. =)
English with Max (1 year ago)
Oh I see! I did think your English was exceptionally good ;). Are you Filipino then? Thanks very much for your support!
EmeritusE (1 year ago)
My native language is English. So, I guess that would make my presence here a "remedial" one. I do know a bit of Spanish, but just a limited number of words. I also know a bit of Tagalog as well. It's the sentence structure of foreign languages that confuses me the most. The proper placement of nouns, verbs, subjects and the like has always eluded me. I do enjoy your videos though. For those learning English, I'm certain they are quite beneficial. Keep up the good work! =)
English with Max (1 year ago)
There are LOADS in French! But French spelling is still more regular than English spelling, so if you know all the rules, you'll most likely be able to pronounce a French word correctly just by looking at it. German and Spanish are very phonetic. The only letter you don't pronounce in Spanish is the H (except if it's after C). What's your native language if you don't mind me asking?
Hello Max. Your video lessons are great. I'm learning a lot with them. Thank you so much.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks a bunch, Julio :).
L. McClane (1 year ago)
The reason "tsar" is spelled that was is because in Russian, you spell (and pronounce it) ts-a-r (there's a letter for ts). You sometimes see it as "czar", I was told to thank the Polish for that spelling. And, fun fact, that is more closely related to the original word that "tsar" came from, "caesar". Maybe that's why we say "zar"?
English with Max (1 year ago)
Haha, always blame Fred!
L. McClane (1 year ago)
Yup, blame Fred :D
English with Max (1 year ago)
Oh, I was wondering why there were two spellings. It makes sense ;). Thanks!
Io Fors (1 year ago)
Hi Max, thanks for your video and could you make a video with words for describing parts of cars?
English with Max (1 year ago)
Definitely! I was thinking of doing one on that this year :).
Bassel Hasan (1 year ago)
what were you trying to say at the first o of the video 😂
English with Max (1 year ago)
I think I was trying to say "applies" and said "replies" ;)
Diana Ruiz García (1 year ago)
Thank you, your videos are very helpful!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Diana! I'm glad they're useful :).
Carlos Augusto (1 year ago)
Hi, Max. As always, an excellent video. Congrats!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Atm, one every Sunday, and I'm trying to upload one every Thursday as well now.
Carlos Augusto (1 year ago)
I can't remember well but how often do you upload your videos?
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Carlos!
Gunay Mirzaeva (1 year ago)
Thank you teacher, i subscribed. Please make a video on ing, ng, nk pronunciation and how to transcribe them correctly.
Gunay Mirzaeva (1 year ago)
+English with Max Thanxs for replying and have a nice day))Yes İ mean phonetic symbols.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Great! I'll add that to the list ;). But what do you mean by transcribe? Do you mean their phonetic symbols?
Shree Phadke (1 year ago)
thanks max for making the video that I suggested you. Also, I wanted to know is K and W both silent in 'know'? because we pronounce as 'No' as not as now
English with Max (1 year ago)
My pleasure! I wouldn't say the W is silent. It's just that there are two different ways of pronouncing OW ;). In "know" it's like in the word "snow", and in "now" it's like in "cow". But yes, "know" is pronounced the same way as "no".
Wilfried Mathias (1 year ago)
Very nice! Thank you Max! It would be really great if you could publish a video about the different ways to use the preposition "by".
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Wilfried! I can't guarantee how quickly I can do it, but I'll add that to the list :).
To sum up I pronounce 5 words correctly and the rest incorrectly. I didn't expect to see a Russian word here xD Actually we say that word quite seldom. Anyway thx Max for a very useful lesson =) As always I'm grateful to you for your labour ^_^ Have a nice day Max)
English with Max (1 year ago)
5 words is pretty good - they're not easy ;). Thanks, same to you!
Mohamed Takkika (1 year ago)
great . thanks
English with Max (1 year ago)
👍
sittoo nagesh (1 year ago)
Actually Tsunami is a japanese word. It is comprised of tsu(harbours) -nami(wave). I would also like to thank for your efforts.
Grant Boldero (11 months ago)
sittoo nagesh Also tsar has 2 possible pronunciations /zɑː/ or /tsɑː/
English with Max (1 year ago)
I didn't know the individual meanings of the two parts, thanks :). But yes, it's a loanword, like "kindergarten" from German, or "café" from French ;).
moussab alqaissy (1 year ago)
thanks for the lesson
English with Max (1 year ago)
My pleasure!
Kyungil Cho (1 year ago)
i love your video!!!
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thank you! :)
Filipe Porfirio (1 year ago)
whassup Max, thank u for the video, you always do a great job on it. I would like to ask you for more phrasal verbs videos, I think that's the most difficult for everyone, mainly phrasal verbs with "set". thank you again, huge hug from Brazil.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi Filipe! Thanks for your comment :). I'm actually about to do a video on phrasal verbs! It will hopefully be online next week.
karan pun (1 year ago)
good
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks!
Mia Wijaya (1 year ago)
Since the first time I heard those words; to my ears I heard GErIT ..GOrIT instead of geddit or goddit.. I am so curious to know..is FLAP T really pronounced /d/or /r/? (I really upset when my friend said that I pronounced those words incorrectly and insisted that the words are read as they written.. No /r/or /d/ flap T) so just : geT it..
Donnie D. (1 year ago)
And also this sound (flap T) is very similar to the Russian R. But it's definitely not the English R. I hear this sound everywhere, especially in the words like 'get it', 'got it', gotta, 'put in', 'put on' ...
English with Max (1 year ago)
Haha, we must have been typing at the same time! Read my previous comment, but that makes sense. The Spanish R is very similar to the Indonesian R ;). Saya tinggal di Jakarta waktu saya kecil :).
English with Max (1 year ago)
What is your native language? The English D is similar to the Spanish R in, for example, "hora" or "corazon" so that's why it might be difficult.
Mia Wijaya (1 year ago)
I am sure it is because of my mother tongue...my accent thay affecting my pronunciation.( I am Indonesian.)
Mia Wijaya (1 year ago)
Yes Max..I realized that..I studied and learnt about it and still couldn't get satisfying answer for myself. When I practice to pronounce those words myself slowly I can say as you mentioned here but when I say them fast my tongue can't help to utter slightly /r/ of the flapped T..
Mia Wijaya (1 year ago)
Hello Max..thank you for the lesson..so helpful for me. Could you please help me to make a video for pronouncing ’’flapped T’’ especially on these words.(in BrE or AmE pronunciation.) Get it, Got it, Shut up, At all, About it , Put it , Put it up.
Mia Wijaya (1 year ago)
Thank you very much Max..😍 I will wait for the video..please notify me when it's ready, please...🙏💐💐
English with Max (1 year ago)
That's a very good idea for a video! I can't promise when I'll be able to do it, but I'll add it to the list :).
Akash Kumar (1 year ago)
thanks 4 video.. keep moving. u r awesome.....
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks, Akash!

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