Top 5 Words with Phantom (Silent) Letters in American English

Have you ever noticed that letters in some English words are not pronounced?  Here are the top five words that surprise non-native English speakers in my accent training courses.

1. Bomb

The “b” in the word “bomb” is silent.  Finish this word with an “m.” Other words that fit this pattern: limbclimblamb 

2. Debt

Again, no “b”!  Skip the “b” and just pronounce the “t.” Other words like this: doubt.

3. Talk

Don’t pronounce the “l” in words ending in “-alk.”  Pronounce an “ah” sound for the vowel (see tutorial here) and then produce a “k” to end the word.  Other words that fit this pattern: walkstalkchalk.

4. Half

Skip the “l” and end the word with “f.” Other words that fit this pattern: calfbehalf.

5. Receipt

Skip the “p” and end the word with a “t.”

This list is just the beginning of all the confusion the English language as to offer.  Subscribe to the blog to get the latest American English pronunciation tips.