Silent K Words
There are many letters that we see and write but do not pronounce. These silent letters are a challenge. But there are many patterns we can learn to make reading and pronunciation easier. Silent K is a common pattern.
If you see a word that starts with KN-, you only pronounce the N. So knight sounds exactly the same as night and knot is pronounced exactly the same as not. Notice that this is very similar to the pattern for silent G words.
Like many silent letters, the K was not always silent. In Old English, the word knight was once cniht and knot was once cnotta, and the K sound at the beginning used to be pronounced, up until about the 17th century. But because the K-N combination is difficult to pronounce, over hundreds of years we elided it until it disappeared completely. In many other Germanic languages, the K is still pronounced in related words.
Here's a word list with 15 examples of silent K words.
|knock||/nɑk/||v.||to hit sth with the knuckles|
|knight||/naɪt/||n.||a soldier who wore armor|
|know||/noʊ/||v.||to have in your mind|
|knot||/nɑt/||n.||the part where rope is tied|
|knuckle||/ˈnʌkəl/||n.||a joint in the fingers|
|knee||/ni/||n.||the large joint in the leg|
|knit||/nɪt/||v.||to make something from yarn|
|knife||/nʌɪf/||n.||a tool with a blade for cutting|
|knob||/nɒb/||n.||a ball-shaped handle|
|knack||/nak/||n.||a natural skill|
|knickers||/ˈnɪkərz/||n.||an old word for pants|
|knead||/niːd/||v.||fold dough by hand|
|knickknack||/ˈnɪknak/||v.||a small decorative object|