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Homework, Silent Letters, HELP I am feeling stabby.

(38 Posts)
DorcasLane Sun 09-Oct-11 13:49:04

My 10 year old son has been given a bit of homework, it's supposed to be English. We are struggling. I am about to drown my sorrows in a bottle of gin.
The homework is all about silent letters. Can anyone shed any light on this codswhallop. Thanks in advance! x

Firstly circle the silent letter in this paragraph.
Then solve the riddle.
I asked a question but got no answer. Do You Know?

''There must be a knight wearing knickers in a tomb. Surely that must be wrong, so I asked the whale, he was honest, he answered only half my question, then knocked me over with the splash of his tail. Shall I wait until Christmas? No, I’ll ask the folk with the lambs and the wriggling swords. They were useless, they pointed me in the direction of the gnomes. The gnomes, who waited in the garden, fishing by the pond, whispered the answer in my ear.''

The answer was 'silent' but what was the question.

Enjoy x

BertieBotts Sun 09-Oct-11 13:50:58

Is it something to do with the "K" in knickers and the "G" in gnome?

Maybe the question is "How does the letter K/G sound?"

DorcasLane Sun 09-Oct-11 13:54:08

My brain is dribbling out of my ears.

SazZaVoom Sun 09-Oct-11 13:55:16

K is the silent letter in Know

There are lots of silent letters in the second bit - Gnome, Whispered, Whale, Gnome, Knocked, Christmas, Knight, tomb, Wriggling, Answer.

i can't work out the Q though grin

CecilyP Sun 09-Oct-11 13:56:21

What daft homework. No idea what the question is. Could be something really general relating to all the silent letters in the piece or something really cryptic that only a clever person can come up with. Who knows?

DorcasLane Sun 09-Oct-11 13:57:52

That's the thing, my son got all the silent letters, but the riddle bit has just got us all in a flap, it doesn't even make any sense, or am I being proper thick. I suspect the teacher is sitting at home watching re-runs of ER and having a right giggle at us.

ASuitableGirl Sun 09-Oct-11 13:57:53

There are lots of silent letters in that paragraph aren't there? If you identify them all and put them in order do you come up with anything (like a Take A Break style puzzle)?

Some words like tomb puzzle me though as the b doesn't make a b sound but if it weren't there the word would be tom <brain starts imploding a bit>

Wurg Sun 09-Oct-11 13:58:39


it's all I've got confused

Bucharest Sun 09-Oct-11 13:58:53

There are silent letters in almost all of the words in the story. Do they make some sort of sentence if you look at them all?


K- in knight and knickers
B in tomb
W in wrong and whale, wriggling and swords
H in honest

(am not seeing anything so far....)

W in answer
L in half and folk
T in Christmas

(not looking like much of a sentence yet)

B in lambs
G in gnomes.


Bucharest Sun 09-Oct-11 13:59:57

<brain explodes>

DorcasLane Sun 09-Oct-11 14:01:15

This sort of convoluted homework drives me mental. The same teacher gave us a piece on connectives last year ( eldest son just gone up to year 7) which had us in a tailspin. When I asked her about it at parent's evening she said she couldn't remember the work but would get back to us, she didn't. I just want to be able to help when the kids ask. We have a degree each, my husband speaks 4 languages and we sit here like jellyheads going 'err dunno'.

DorcasLane Sun 09-Oct-11 14:02:43

Yeah we have been trying to re-arrange the letters for about a million years now (50 mins), nothing doing. If we had a dog we could pretend it ate this.

CecilyP Sun 09-Oct-11 14:03:00

No, that can't be it as there are no vowels.

ASuitableGirl Sun 09-Oct-11 14:03:06

Does anything useful come up if you google the whole thing (am wondering if there is a solution somewhere).

Other than that I would get your DS to identify all the silent letters and just say that he and lots of people on mumsnet can't work out the riddle.

DorcasLane Sun 09-Oct-11 14:06:00

Have Googled it and there is another person asking the same question as me then a bunch of resource pages for Primary schools who have used the same riddle. No answers though. shakes fist

DorcasLane Sun 09-Oct-11 14:07:20

Son has gone off up the park with his Dad and brother. He has identified all the silent letters, got bamboozled by the riddle, admitted defeat and moved on, sensible lad.

SouthGoingZax Sun 09-Oct-11 14:08:01

Got 'know' answer???


DownbytheRiverside Sun 09-Oct-11 14:09:44

It is from a primary resources website, the question seems to be as basic as 'What do you call the letter that is written but not pronounced?'

SouthGoingZax Sun 09-Oct-11 14:10:40

Ah yes. Wise, downbytheriverside

<<nods sagely>>

DownbytheRiverside Sun 09-Oct-11 14:11:44

It is open-ended, so any question that fits the parameters must be correct.

CecilyP Sun 09-Oct-11 14:12:15

That's a bit disappointing. I was expecting something amazing!

fastweb Sun 09-Oct-11 14:14:46

You are not the first to get this homework

suggested "question" here

There are others,

but if the answer is "silent" the question can't be what is broken with a sound? cos that would be silence

fastweb Sun 09-Oct-11 14:15:36

oh flob


hocuspontas Sun 09-Oct-11 14:17:47

It's also on the TES forum!

mrz Sun 09-Oct-11 14:19:12

and all letters are silent hmm rubbish homework!

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