The Complete List of
English Spelling Rules
5: -mn and -mb Combinations
at the End of Words
this series of lessons, you will learn useful spelling rules
This lesson talks about two letter combinations with silent letters
that often come at the end of words: -mn
a free worksheet + answer key.
In these combinations, the m is pronounced, but the n
or the b
First, we will look at words that end in the combination -mb
. In these words,
pronounced, but the b
A common example is the word lamb
or a baby sheep. There are several other common words with this pattern.
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For example, John's mother knows he took the cookies because
he has crumbs
on his shirt! Crumbs
are little pieces of bread or cookie.
In this word, the m
is pronounced, but the b
If you want to show that you like something or that everything is okay,
you can point your thumb
Here are some more examples of words with the same pattern:
One special exception is the word plumber
combination does not come at the end of this word, but the b
is still silent.
You can also find a silent n
after the letter m
at the end of some common English words.
For example, trees lose their leaves in autumn
This is the season between summer and winter.
In this word, the n
is silent. We only pronounce the sound of the letter m
at the end of the
Another example is the word hymn
This is a special kind of song that is usually religious.
Here are some more examples of words with the -mn
It is important to notice that some of the words in these lists are
verbs. That means that we might add an -s
in the simple present tense
in the simple past
When this happens, the -mb
combination is not at the end of the word, but the pronunciation does
. We only pronounce the m
For example, when a house is very old and not safe, the police can condemn
it. That means that no one is allowed to live there.
So, we can say that the police condemned
this old house five years ago. It is not safe to go inside. Even when
we change the verb form, the n
is still silent.
Look at our worksheet on the -mn
at the end of words for practice
So, let's review what we have learned about the silent n
after an m
at the end of
words in English:
- The m is
pronounced but the n
or b are not.
- This usually happens at the end of a word, but if it is a
verb, the pronunciation remains the same even if we change the verb
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