Gh

From Teflpedia

f

rough /rʌf/

g

ghost /gəʊst/

Gh is an English digraph consisting of the letters G and H. Generally in onset position it is sounded as a hard g sound, but in coda position it is silent or an f sound.

As silent letters[edit | edit source]

The combinations ⟨igh⟩, ⟨eigh⟩, and ⟨aigh⟩ always have silent ⟨gh⟩:

  • eigh/eɪ/: eight - freight - neighborAmE - neighbourBrE - weigh - weight;
    • Variation: ⟨aigh⟩ in straight.
  • igh⟩ as /aɪ/: bright - delight - fight - flight - fright - height - high - light - might - night - right - sigh - sight - slight - tight;
  • ugh⟩, after a consonant letter, sounds /ju:/, e.g. Hugh, Hughes,

The combination ⟨augh⟩ is mostly silent and ⟨ough⟩ may be silent:

  • augh⟩ is /ɔː/; caught - daughter - taught
  • ough⟩ is:
    • /ɔː/ bought - fought - nought - ought - sought - - thought;
    • /uː/: through - throughout;
    • /əʊ/: although - dough - though;
    • /aʊ/: drought;
  • Edinburgh /ˈedɪnbrə,BrE ˈedɪnbɜːrəAmE/

Finishing in /f/[edit | edit source]

As /g/[edit | edit source]

  • Ghana - ghastly - ghetto - ghost - ghoul - Pittsburgh - spaghetti - yoghurt (more often "yogurt")

Simplifications[edit | edit source]

flow of cool air: draughtBrE - draftAmE
rough version: draft
  • /ˈhɪkʌp/: hiccough - preferred spelling is "hiccup"
  • /plaʊ/: plowAmE - ploughBrE
Informal spellings in American English
  • /ðəʊ/: though (formal) - tho' (informal) - tho (informal)
  • /θruː/: through (formal) - thru (informal)

Compound words[edit | edit source]

gh sometimes occurs across syllable boundaries, where one syllable ends in g and the next begins with h. This is not a digraph. These include:

  • /gh/: doghouse - foghorn - jughead
  • /ŋh/: longhorn

Exception[edit | edit source]

The English place name Keighley is pronounced as /ˈki:θli/, so gh represents an unvoiced dental fricative /θ/.[1]

References[edit | edit source]