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Section 1. Spelling: Silent Consonants
A. 1. The consonant b is silent (a) in –bt (before t): debt, doubt, subtle; (b) in –mb (after m): limb, lamb, climb, dumb, crumb, thumb, tomb, comb. N o t e: However, b is always pronounced in its medial position in such words as timber, number, amber, etc. 2. The consonant c is silent (a) in (-)sc(-) before e, i, y, initially: scene, scientist, scissors, scythe; medially: descend, discipline, fascinate; finally: acquiesce, reminisce; (b) in –scl- in a few words: muscle, corpuscle; (c) before t in a few words and also in some names of English counties: Connecticut, Gloucester, Leicester; (d) in acqu- (from Lat. prefix ad- + qu-): acquaint, acquire, acquit; (e) in exce-, exci- (from Lat. prefix ex- + qu-): excellent, except, excite; (f) in four loans from Russian: czar, czarevna, czarina, czarevitch. 3. The letter-combination ch is silent in a few words: yacht, fuchsia. 4. The letter g is silent (a) initially in gn-: gnat, gnaw, gnash, gnarl, gnome; (b) finally in –gm,- ign: paradigm, sovereign, resign, feign, design; (c) medially in the words: champagne, signor(a), chignon, cognac. N o t e: However, in some derivatives g is always audible in its medial position: malignant, resignation, signal, etc.
Exercise 1. Insert the appropriate word with silent b, c or g from the above lists.