B

In English the letter B has one pronunciation, or it can be silent. When the B is silent it is always preceded by the letter M.

Note that the examples are in three columns. The first column provides an example of the sound when it is word initial (at the beginning of the word). The second column provides an example of the sound when it is word internal (in the middle of the word). The third column provides examples of the sound when it is word final (at the end of the word).

Click on the sample words to listen to the sound files. Pay attention to the sound of the letters in bold.

letter IPA* examples
b b book
(bk)
noble
(nbl)
web
(wb)
silent   combing
(kmIŋ)
lamb
(lm)
climber
(klm)
thumb
(m)

Note: There are many words with the letter combination mb where the B is not silent.

examples
December
(dismb)
humble
(hmbl)
ambiguous
(mbIgjus)

*IPA means International Phonetic Alphabet. Learn more about phonetics and the IPA.

Related lessons:

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