Spelling and Pronunciation - some important differences.

spelling for adults at how to spell

60% of English words have silent letters in them which can cause all sorts of problems with spelling and pronunciation.

The spelling of lots of words is different from the pronunciation because our pronunciation has changed over the years while our spelling system hasn't changed much.

Remember - we can see the history of the word in some spellings: knife, know, knock, knee, gnat, gnaw are all Viking words (Old Germanic). The k and g used to be pronounced. We keep the k ang g because it shows the history of the word. The history of the word is in plumber, it comes from the Latin/Roman word plumbum meaning lead (lead piping) used in plumbing.

The following words are usually pronounced with two syllables - asp / rin
not three syllables asp i rin.

spelling - pronunciation-the letters in brackets aren't usually pronounced

aspirin - asp(i)rin asp/rin
business - bus(i)ness bus/ness
chocolate - choc(o)late choc/lat
different - diff(e)rent diff/rent
evening - ev(e)ning ev/ning
every - ev(e)ry ev/ry
marriage - marri(a)ge ma/rige
omelette - om(e)lette om/let
restaurant - rest(au)rant rest/ rant
several - sev(e)ral sev/ral
Wednesday - We(d)n(e)sday wens/day

The following words are usually pronounced with
three syllables comf/ta/ble
not four syllables com/for/ta/ble.

comfortable - comf(or)table comf/ta/ble
interesting - int(e)resting in/tres/ting
secretary - secret(a)ry se/cre/try
temperature - temp(e)rature tem/pra/ture
usually - us(u)ally u/sa/lly
vegetable - veg(e)table veg/ta/ble

If you would like to do a spelling test and/or listen to these words then click here

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Silent Letters