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Session 68

James explains some more rules for silent 'e' in this English In A Minute.

Activity 1

Rules for silent 'e' (part 2)

What difference does a silent ‘e’ make to pronouncing words? James is here to explain some more rules and he does it in just one minute!

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We're going to take a look at some more rules for how to pronounce words ending with silent e today.

Firstly, the letters c and g can have hard consonant sounds like /k/ and /g/.

However, when the word ends with a silent e it changes the pronunciation of these consonants.

C and g become soft consonant sounds /s/ and /ʤ/.

So it's pronounced /mais/ not /maik/ and /keiʤ/ not /keig/.

Another very similar rule is for the pronunciation of th.

When a word ends with th and then a silent e,

it changes from a /θ/ sound to a /ð/ sound.

The most common example of this is the word the.

It's pronounced with a /ð/ sound.

Some other examples include breath and breathe and bath and bathe.

These nice and easy rules should help you when pronouncing new words.

Just remember that the silent e changes pronunciation.

Rules for silent 'e' (part 2)

1. An e after a c or g changes the sound from /k/ and /g/ to /s/ and /ʤ/

  • mice = /mais/
  • cage = /keiʤ/

2. When a word ends with th and then a silent e, it changes from a /θ/ sound to a /ð/ sound.

  • breath /θ/ ---> breathe /ð/
  • bath /θ/ ---> bathe /ð/


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