Silent 'W' (Silent Letter Series) - Podcast Episode 20

Audio Transcript:

Welcome to episode 20 of The English Sessions. The Silent ‘W’. I am your host and English teacher, Mike Butler. These podcasts can help you improve your English! Together, we will talk about grammar… pronunciation… structure... and have some fun too. Remember to visit my website, to contact me for private lessons, and for more content.

You can also read the transcript of this audio on the website, as you listen to this episode.

Listen for these words today:
Sword - a weapon, with a long, metal blade. When I think of swords, I think of knights, and castles, of ancient Europe, but many civilizations have used swords throughout history.

Wicked - ‘wicked’ can mean ‘evil’ or ‘sinful’, but also it sometimes means ‘playful’ or ‘naughty’, like children. Children are naughty, or wicked, sometimes.
Mow - MOW. You ‘mow’ grass when you cut it down, typically with a machine, called a ‘lawn mower’. Can you believe it?! We have ‘NOW’, pronounced ‘now’, but “MOW” is pronounced as ‘MOW’!

Today, we will continue our series on silent letters. Some words in English have a silent ‘w’. In English, “w” makes a ‘w’w’w’ sound, as in wonderful, or wicked. But sometimes you do not pronounce the ‘w’.

I will provide a list of words that have a silent ‘w’, and then we’ll make a little story with them.

1. “Answer” - has a silent ‘w’. What is the answer to the question?
2. Sword - the young man could not lift the heavy sword.
3. Two - the number 2! Don’t forget, the number ‘two’ is spelled ’T-W-O’. It has the same pronunciation as ‘to’ T-O and ‘too’ T-O-O. two to too.
4. Who - ‘who’ has a silent ‘w’. WHO. “Who let the dogs out?”.
5. Whole - that’s right, ‘whole’ WHOLE. WHOLE means ‘all of something’ or ‘entire’. The entire thing; the whole thing.

These are 5 words that have silent ‘w’s. There are many other words with silent ‘w’s, often with ‘w’ and ‘r’ next to each other, but these 5 words are important to remember, and these words have ‘w’s that are completely silent. You don’t even come close to pronouncing them.

So let’s practice. I will use all of these words in a little story:

There once were two curious, but wicked, children. They saw a sword in a shop, and wanted to steal it! So, one night, when the whole town was sleeping, they snuck into the shop and stole the sword!

“Who stole the sword?”, the shopkeeper shouted next morning, “who stole my nice sword?! I demand answers, now!”.

The two children who stole the sword were silent. They did not want to get in trouble, but they felt really bad for the shopkeeper. They knew that they did something wrong, so the next night they went back to the shop, when the whole town was sleeping, and returned the sword. The shopkeeper was amazed that it had returned.

The two children decided to spend their whole summer mowing lawns for their neighbors, so they could save up money to buy the sword. The whole town was really impressed with how well they could mow lawns! Eventually, the two children went back to the shop, during the day this time, and paid for the sword with all the money that they earned mowing lawns.

So, the lesson learned from this story is, “If you work hard, then you can buy stupid stuff that you don’t need”.

Any questions? Write to me at . Leave a message for me on the website, and I will play it on the podcast. Make sure to subscribe to this podcast so you won’t miss an episode. Visit for more content. Please rate and review The English Sessions on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Find us on social media. Twitter @theEsessions; Instagram @englishsessionswithmike; Search for The English Sessions on Facebook. Until next time, this is Mike signing off.


  1. Me encantó el postcard, estoy aprendiendo inglés y pude entender todas las palabras en el relato con claridad... gracias Mike 😊


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