The silent T – pronunciation guide for learners of English

I wrote a post about the silent L, and yesterday a post from one of my favourite language blogs, English Language Thoughts, got me thinking about the silent t.

The post was actually about the T in often and whether you should pronounce it. If you want to know the answer, you can read the post yourself!

However, there are some other words in English which are more straightforward and the T in these words is silent. This means that you don’t pronounce it.

Here are some examples:

You do pronounce the T in words like past or fast, but you don’t pronounce the t in fasten.

You don’t pronounce the T at the end of words such as ballet, gourmet or chalet.

You do pronounce the T in words like list and twist, but you don’t pronounce it in glisten, christen, listen, listening, or listened.

Often is up for debate, but we don’t pronounce the t in soften. We do however pronounce it in soft.

Both the T and the H are silent in words like asthma and asthmatic.

You do pronounce the T in words like robust and cast, but When you see words like bustle, wrestle, whistle and castle, you don’t pronounce it.

You don’t pronounce the T in words like Christmas or chestnut, even though you do pronounce it in words like wrist and chest.

You don’t pronounce the T in mortgage.

Can you think of any more?

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