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Unit 2: English In A Minute
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Session 62

The silent 'e' in a word can change the way you say it, but how? James explains some rules that might help you in just one minute!

Activity 1

Rules for silent 'e'

Have you ever wanted to know about the silent 'e' at the end of some English words? James has some rules that might help you in this English In A Minute.

Watch the video and complete the activity

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James

Some words end with an and this can affect their pronunciation.

We're going to look at two common examples of this today.

Firstly, an at the end of a word can change the pronunciation of the vowel before it.

Bit is a short /i/ sound and bite is a long /ai/ sound.

Mat is a short /ae/ sound and mate is a long /ei/ sound.

However, there are many exceptions to this rule.

Love, come, some and have

all have e's at the end, but the vowel sound is short.

Here's another rule - when a word ends with consonant plus l + e,

we add an 'ul' sound to the word: little, circle, able.

These are two easy rules for pronouncing words ending with a silent e.

They should make things simple for you when reading new words.

Rules for silent 'e'

1. An e at the end of a word can change the pronunciation of the vowel before it.

  • bit /i/ ---> bite /ai/
  • mat /ae/ ---> mate /ei/

2. Some words ending in e have short vowel sounds.

  • love
  • come
  • some
  • have

3. When a word ends with consonant plus l + e, we add an 'ul' sound to the word

  • little
  • circle
  • able

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