Creating an account only takes 20 seconds, and doesn’t require any personal info.

If you’ve got one already, please log in.🤝

Silent H

From Teflpedia

Silent H is a silent letter h which is customarily not sounded as an h sound.

These are common in certain English words, particularly heir /eə(r)/, hour /aʊə(r)/, honour /ˈɒnə(r)/, honest /ˈɒn.ɪst/. Americans also apply this to herb /ɜ:(r)b/, though British pronunciation sounds the H. These need to be learnt as sightwords.

I can also appear in the middle of words; annihilation, exhaust, exhibition prohibition, shepherd, vehicle /'vɪəkəl/ and vehement /'vɪəmənt/. Also, chihuahua.

A lot of place names have silent H; particularly anything ending in -ham or -house.

H is generally silent in French, and so this is also found in French loans, e.g. haute cuisine and hors d’oeuvre.

Other words used to have a silent H, but got a /h/ sound added through spelling pronunciation and/or hypercorrection.

A “silent H" can also appear in the consonant digraph ⟨wh⟩ when it’s pronounced /w/.

References[edit | edit source]