Words with Silent Letter I! The letter “i” can be a very mysterious letter. Sometimes it is pronounced with a long “e” sound, as in the word “bike.” Other times it is pronounced with a short “i” sound, as in the word “pig.”
And sometimes it is completely silent, as in the word “truly.” Why does the letter “i” behave so inconsistently? The answer has to do with the history of the English language. In Old English, the letter “i” was always pronounced with a short “i” sound. However, over time the pronunciation of certain words changed. For example, the Old English word for “bird” was pronounced something like “bridd,” with a short “i” sound. But over time, this word came to be pronounced like “bird,” with a long “e” sound.
As a result, many modern words that contain the letter “i” are actually pronounced differently than they were in Old English. This can make it difficult to know how to pronounce some words, but it also makes English a very interesting and unique language.
Words with Silent Letter I