Pronunciation Exercise: Silent "b" in words

You don't always pronounce the "b" in words. In this quiz, decide if the "b" is silent or not.

Level: Pre-intermediate and above

1. I hurt my thumb. (thumb)
2. You can add a thumbnail to your video. (thumbnail)
3. How many climbers made it to the summit? (climbers)
4. What number does David Beckham have on his shirt? (number)
5. I heard a rumble of thunder. (rumble)
6. I have a few doubts about the plan. (doubts)
7. He has a lot of debts. (debts)
8. The answer is obvious. (obvious)
9. Everyone was in a sombre mood. (sombre)
10. They danced the rumba. (rumba)

5 thoughts on “Pronunciation Exercise: Silent "b" in words

  1. annie

    Question 8 . You said the "B" in obvious is mute ! But the dictionary of pronunciation D. Jones writes just the opposite.
    Who is right?
    I have always heard the "B" in Obvious
    Thank you.

  2. Clare Post author

    Hi Annie - good question! For me it's mute as it tends to get swallowed by the "v" sound. I'd say the word "ov-vious" rather than "ob-vious". How do you say it?

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