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Silent "H" (heir, honest, etc) | English Pronunciation

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Remember to turn on the subtitles if you need them! A quick pronunciation lesson on words that begin with a silent "H". If you'd like me to correct any of your comments, please add (pls correct) at the end of your comment. Canadian Prime Minister: (0:13) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT1l5kesjKA 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. Follow me: https://www.facebook.com/EnglishWithMax https://twitter.com/EnglishWithMax https://www.instagram.com/englishwithmax/ Transcript: Hi guys, welcome back to English with Max. This is going to be quite a short pronunciation tutorial. Today we are just going to look at a few words that start with a silent “h”. That is, we're going to look at some words that being with an “h” that you are not supposed to pronounce. If you are interested in watching my video in which I give a general overview of silent letters, the link is right here. Mispronouncing words that have silent “h”s in English is a very common mistake. I do think it's one of the more unfair aspects of English spelling as it does seem to go against all logic. I can imagine that if you speak a Romance language like Spanish or French, this is probably particularly annoying for you because you've surely been told from the beginning that you have to pronounce all “h”s in English. You might even have spent hours practicing the "h" going "hhhhh". The vast majority of “h”s in English are pronounced, but there are some exceptions. Now, I'm not going to give you a full list of all the words with silent "h"s. Like I said, I'm just going to give you some words that begin with a silent “h”. The first word is "heir". This is pronounced exactly the same way as “a-i-r”, as in the air that we breathe. An heir is a person who inherits or is entitled to inherit something, like a property, a title or a position. It's very important that you don't pronounce the "h" in this word, because if you do, you will be saying “hair”. Unfortunately this mistake was made by the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau when he was sworn in as Prime Minister. I'll put a link to it in the info box below. It was rather unfortunate. Yeah, poor thing. The next word is "honesty". And all of its derivations, so the adjective "honest" and the adverb "honestly". Honestly, just pretend that the "h" isn't there. Number 3: honour. And all of its derivations, so the adjective "honourable" and the adverb "honourably". This is the British spelling and this is the American spelling. The next word is "hour", as in there are 60 minutes in one hour. This is pronounced the same way as "o-u-r", the possessive adjective "our". The final word I want to mention is the word "herb". Are you thinking: "What? But you just pronounced the "h" there, I'm sure you said it." Yes, that's because in British English we do pronounce the "h". So you can say “Basil is a herb”, “Would you like some herbal tea?” But in American English, this "h" is silent. So the words are pronounced “herb” and “herbal”. Don't worry about this too much though, because it is still 100% correct to say "Herb" or "Herbal", but it is never correct to say "Hour" or “Honour” or "Honest", and unless you're talking about this stuff, do not say "hair". If you find it hard to remember these words, here is a short sentence that might help you. The honest and honourable heir calls his mother every hour. (Oh, what a good boy!) I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, please don't forget to click on the thumbs up, and if you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to write them in the comments section down below. See you next time!
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Text Comments (117)
English with Max (2 years ago)
If you would like to add subtitles in your own language, please click here! https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?ref=player&v=aT7Ebp2pIBo 😘
English with Max merci beaucoup, oui en français on a un muet h
Amh Jh (1 month ago)
I’m glad to see an Australian that doesn’t pronounce h as hitch
English with Max (1 month ago)
Haha, I cringe when I hear "haitch". But apparently it's now considered correct... :S
sam son (1 month ago)
Please update your profile max......
sam son (1 month ago)
Well done max
Mah. AbdulQader (2 months ago)
Are you sick?
Shreedhar Paudel (3 months ago)
What more words with consonant letter vowel sound
English with Max (3 months ago)
Do you mean words that start with silent letters?
Aman Hasan (3 months ago)
How to pronounce humanity
English with Max (3 months ago)
ali akdeniz (4 months ago)
we love you thanks for Everythings You re the best :D
English with Max (4 months ago)
Thank you so much! You're very kind. :)
MERMOZ BLE (4 months ago)
Cool!!! But me I wanna if this list is enough... Thus how can we recognize silent "h"???
English with Max (4 months ago)
Don't worry. There aren't many other words that start with a silent h. 😉 The only one I can think of that isn't a derivation of the words I mentioned is "homage", and some people pronounce that h anyway. 😀
Ahmed Ghraiby (6 months ago)
Thanks ever so much.
English with Max (6 months ago)
My pleasure!
Mano Russaliah (7 months ago)
It was useful Tx.
English with Max (7 months ago)
My pleasure!
Aiman Bintul (8 months ago)
What is the origin of word heiress
English with Max (8 months ago)
It comes from the word "heir", which comes from Latin: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/heir?s=t
Ali Fathi Abdullah (8 months ago)
please please don't speak fast
English with Max (8 months ago)
This video is from a couple of years ago. I speak a little slower in my more recent videos, but I never speak VERY slow because my videos are for intermediate to advanced learners.
thumbs up always.
English with Max (9 months ago)
Thank you!
Joseph Sungkawa (10 months ago)
British spelling and American spelling I was always thought there is no such thing theres proper English and there is American Gibberish
sarah alkathiri (11 months ago)
Thank you Max I love your pronunciation of the English language and the way I tell you I am happy to watch your channel I love you so much
English with Max (11 months ago)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm glad you like my channel :).
sarah alkathiri (11 months ago)
English with Max (11 months ago)
I'm fine, thanks :). There will be a new video up tomorrow :).
Chandrashekhar Katheriya (11 months ago)
Plz make more videos like this.
English with Max (11 months ago)
I will do my best!
Aftab Alam (1 year ago)
Very nice teaching
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thank you :)
Deird ¿ (1 year ago)
The Heirs
English with Max (1 year ago)
Are you referring to the Korean TV show? :D
Max sister, what is the rules for speaking A in the beginning of the words, like appeal apple actually academy . please let me know.
English with Max (1 year ago)
I don't think there is a rule - it depends on the word! :S
thanks max I love you
English with Max (1 year ago)
Ellie Sun (1 year ago)
Hello Max, would you please give some lessons about sounds of R and L. Such as WORLD, Rain, etc. the combination R sound + L sound is super difficult for me to pronounce. R + A is another one. I was told that I did it like R + EE. Thank you very much.
Ellie Sun (1 year ago)
thank you, Max. I will wait.
English with Max (1 year ago)
That's a good idea! I can't promise I'll be able to do it soon, as I have several other videos planned, but I'll add it to the list!
The Entirety (1 year ago)
Why do i always think you are saying PRONOUNCIATON?
English with Max (1 year ago)
I don't know... I definitely say pronOUnce, but I don't say pronOUnciation.
dmartinfpro (1 year ago)
Quite interesting video. Pronunciation is very important to understand and to be understood (pls correct)
dmartinfpro (1 year ago)
English with Max Thanks! To Vs For . It could be a good subject to talk about.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks! Corrections: Pronunciation is very important for comprehension and for being understood.
francesca fiorucci (1 year ago)
English with Max (1 year ago)
I'm glad it was helpful! Thanks for your comment :).
aiM (1 year ago)
Thank you for your efforts.
aiM (4 months ago)
+English with Max I will support you forever because you are diligent teacher.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Thanks again for your support :).
John Smith (1 year ago)
I just pronounce it "Ernest"
English with Max (1 year ago)
Sayantan Mandal (1 year ago)
glad to know that being an Australian u dont pronounce H as Haitch
Khadija Ka ZMi (8 months ago)
good reply
English with Max (1 year ago)
Of course not! I cringe when I hear "haitch" ;).
steevenfrost (1 year ago)
I noticed how you correctly pronounce the letter "h" as aitch.Even amongst English people they sometimes say it as haitch.
English with Max (1 year ago)
Yes... apparently it's now also considered correct to say "haitch", but I cringe when I hear it ;).
Sinan Ali (1 year ago)
Hi Max its herbal things , I heard accessible pronounced wrong with S in all words its true
English with Max (1 year ago)
Hi! No, you have to pronounce the first C in accessible: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/accessible
Long Nguyen (1 year ago)
Hi Max! How are you? I'm here watching your lesson Hahahaaaaaaaaa, GOOOOOOOOOOOOD
English with Max (1 year ago)
I'm fine, thanks :). Haha, I'm glad you like it!
Thomas Schmitt (2 years ago)
How embarrassing when the prime minister swore to all of the queens hair :)
English with Max (2 years ago)
I know... Particularly because he seems like quite a nice prime minister.
emilio campagnoli (2 years ago)
interesting topic XD
1953emo (2 years ago)
Many thanks for another great video with hand made subtitles.
English with Max (2 years ago)
My pleasure :)
Eric Zingkhai (2 years ago)
Dear Max, please help me on when or how I should use "Had" and "Have". Thank you. :)
English with Max (1 year ago)
I'm sorry, I don't know why I didn't reply to this earlier. I don't know when I'm going to do a video on past tenses ("had"), but I have done a couple on the present simple: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAN5U-htvE4 There are many other grammar videos on YouTube though. Good luck!
Eric Zingkhai (2 years ago)
Thanks for clearing my confusion 👍
English with Max (2 years ago)
My pleasure :).
Wilfried Mathias (2 years ago)
Magnífico video Max! Me encantaría ver más videos de tí!
Vladimir Pereverzev (2 years ago)
Thank you, Max!
Tarik Lajouri (2 years ago)
Well done, Max!
I wish that you're my english teacher. haha
English with Max (2 years ago)
Haha, thanks :)
Taha Dridi (2 years ago)
In sentences such 'HE's an artist' ,the pronunciation is 'IZ' ,though for HE's divorced ,the pronunciation is HIZ....Are there any rules for this ? ....Thanks a lot
English with Max (2 years ago)
De rien ;)
Taha Dridi (2 years ago)
+English with Max  Hello,Great.This is dispel doubt of mine about this point.Yes I'm French-speaker ,OK I should  understand this like liaison for spoken French,isn't it....Thanks a lot for your return
English with Max (2 years ago)
Hello again, I just had a look at the link you sent me. And I saw the "IZ". It is true that sometimes when we're speaking quickly we drop the "h" in sentences like: "Is he married?" But I personally normally pronounce the "h" in sentences like that. Are you a French-speaker? It's a little like the liaison, but it's optional.
English with Max (2 years ago)
You're welcome!
Taha Dridi (2 years ago)
Thanks very much for your accurate and quick answer....anyway I've found this kind of pronunciation in this page of book 'Anglais Methode 90' https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8izCN3vLosLamZlcWkxa3RDbkk/ So, I understand that's not correct but only could be pronounced in some britain region .....Thanks again
ahmed ashraf (2 years ago)
thank you . the video is very useful .
English with Max (2 years ago)
I'm happy to hear it :)
Christian T. (2 years ago)
Now I know why people look at me weird when I "properly" articulate the word "hour". Thank you!
English with Max (2 years ago)
Haha :). Don't worry, you wouldn't be the first!
Juan Luis Colón Sosa (2 years ago)
Great. you've already helped me
English with Max (2 years ago)
Glad to hear it :)
Alina Sanover (2 years ago)
Thankyou clearing my confusion
English with Max (2 years ago)
You're welcome :)
L. F. (2 years ago)
Wow I will show this to my students
English with Max (2 years ago)
Glad you liked it!
Kyley Barros (2 years ago)
so does air & hair sound the same if you pronounce the h silent
English with Max (2 years ago)
Yes, they would sound the same! The "h" in "hair" is never silent. And the "h" in "heir is always silent.
L. McClane (2 years ago)
This good, thanks
L. McClane (2 years ago)
Your welcome Max. More soon is good!
English with Max (2 years ago)
Glad you liked it, Lindsay! There'll be more soon
Joe Chang (2 years ago)
A very well done video Max! Really useful for me to share with my mates in my Toastmasters Club! Haha.
English with Max (2 years ago)
Thanks very much, Joe! I'm glad you found it useful and I hope your friends will as well :).
Periklis Phoenix (2 years ago)
Good job you v done
English with Max (2 years ago)
Thanks very much!
Asmaa Hafez (2 years ago)
love it thanks a lot
English with Max (2 years ago)
+Sama h Thanks, Sama! Glad you liked it :)
Leornende Eald Englisc (3 years ago)
Not in Old English! :D
English with Max actually we don't pronounce the h in any words, we have liasions, so we dont pause inbetween vowels or silent h, but some words are different for example, les héros (the heroes) we don't pronounce that s as a z anymore because that h is an aspirated h
English with Max (3 years ago)
+Leornende Eald Englisc Wow, you really seem to know your stuff. I know a bit about the French influence regarding the "h", but why the "h" is pronounced in some French loanwords (like hotel or host) and not in others (honour, heir, etc) is still a mystery to me. But the Germanic influence would make sense.
Leornende Eald Englisc (3 years ago)
+English with Max I would think so because English by default is a West Germanic language with many an influence of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, and Old Anglian, and Old Norse. The whole silent 'h' business comes from French via the Normans invading England in 1066 A.D.
English with Max (3 years ago)
+Leornende Eald Englisc I admit I've never studied Old English, but that doesn't surprise me (considering the evolution of English and all its influences). Was it because of the German influence? I might check out your channel ;)
Kamo Delawi (3 years ago)
Thanks for the AWESOME video!
English with Max (3 years ago)
+Kamo Delawi Thank you, Kamo. Glad you liked it!
eFluentEnglish (3 years ago)
Thanks for clarifying the difference in British and American pronunciation.
Fabio Labanca (3 years ago)
Great Lesson!!! =)
English with Max (3 years ago)
+Fabio Labanca Thanks, Fabio!

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