The word scent smells choose a mystery! It sound a lot choose sent and cent, so it"s tough to tell whether the "s" or the "c" in scent is silent. Keep reading to discover the price — it may surprise you!

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Word Origin: complying with the Scent

In order come learn an ext about the pronunciation of scent, we must look into its etymology (origin). Scent originates from the Old French indigenous sentir (sawn-teer), which way "to feel, awareness or smell," and also was shortened to sent in English.

The word came to be scent in the 17th century. Scholars think that the "c" may have actually been borrowed from the center English words ascend and descend (and therefore, ascent and also descent). It additionally could have actually come native the enhancing influence the the word scientific research in 1600"s Europe. Either way, scent has always been pronounced with a /s/ sound.

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Is S or C silent in Scent?

So, i beg your pardon is it? Is the "s" or "c" quiet in scent? The prize is: neither is silent. They work-related together as a digraph in words scent to create the /s/ sound. Some may argue that the "c" is silent due to the fact that you just hear the /s/ sound, but since "c" always makes an /s/ sound before an "e," it"s no silent in scent.

Scent is not the just word to follow this spelling preeminence — however that"s not to say that "sc" constantly makes a /s/ sound. You"ll discover this letter mix in too many of different English words with countless different etymologies.

More SC Words

If you take it a moment to think around it, you have the right to probably come increase with more words that begin with "sc" that also make a /s/ sound. You can probably think of numerous that encompass "sc" however aren"t pronounced favor /s/ together well! take a watch at this words that usage the "sc" consonant combination in different ways.

/s/ Sounds

When the "sc" digraph comes prior to an "e" or one "i," as it go in scent, it typically makes a /s/ sound. This words typically have roots in the Old French or Greek languages. Indigenous that have an "sc" digraph include:


Some of these words originally started through a "c" in their native languages. Scissors, because that example, comes from the Old French cisoires, which method "cutting instrument." The "sc" part was included in the 15th century to conform with the Latin stem sciss- ("to cut").

/sh/ Sounds

The "sc" digraph can likewise make a /sh/ sound. This words regularly have Italian or germanic origins. Notification that part seem to monitor the "i" and "e" collection rules above, but are tho pronounced as /sh/ based on their languages of origin. This words include:


Yiddish, initially a German dialect, is another origin of numerous "sc" words v a /sh/ sound. The Yiddish words schtick, schmuck and schnoz all have actually German origins (stück, shmok and also schnauze). Other words, such as luscious, come from center English assignment (licious, brief for delicious).

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/sk/ Sounds

The "sc" letter mix also functions as a consonant mix in some words, rather than a digraph, due to the fact that you deserve to hear both letters. Many of this words began in Greek and also went with French, which adjusted the "k" because that the contemporary "c." indigenous that use the "sc" blend together a /sk/ sound include:

scarschedule (the brothers pronunciation uses the /sh/ sound)schemeschismschizophreniaschoolsconescreen

Now you recognize why part "sc" indigenous sound choose they have a silent "s" or "c," but don"t. In countless cases, these words follow clear English spelling rules. But words with different origins may need their own spelling memorization. It"s all component of becoming a much better writer, speller and also reader!

The Tricky civilization of Spelling

Just once you think girlfriend know just how to spell English native correctly, a tricky word favor scent crosses your path. Improving your spelling an abilities can it is in a lot less complicated than it looks. Quiet "c" words and also silent "s" words aren"t the just kinds of indigenous that use silent letters. Examine out a list of silent "t" words that might likewise be confusing as soon as reading. If you"d like an ext spelling help, take it a look in ~ 13 an ext standout spelling rules the you have to know.