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Pronunciation Exercise: Silent “b” In Words

You don’t always pronounce the “b” in words.

Decide in which of these words the “b” is silent or pronounced:

thumb
thumbnail
climb / climber
number
rumble
doubt
debt
obvious
sombre
rumba

Here are some rules to help you!
1. When words end in -mb, we don’t pronounce the final “b”. (So words like thumb, bomb, numb, climb, tomb, etc). When we create words from words ending in -mb, these new words also have a silent “b”: climber, thumbnail, tombstone, etc.

2. We pronounce the “b” when it’s followed by -le. (So in words like rumble, mumble, thimble.)

3. We pronounce the ”b” in words which end in -re or -er (if it isn’t a comparative form of a word ending in -mb.)

4. We also pronounce the ”b” in words with a foreign origin.


Silent B

Choose the correct answer.

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