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GALLERY: H

In English, ⟨h⟩ occurs as a single-letter grapheme (being either silent or representing the voiceless glottal fricative (/h/) and in various digraphs, such as ⟨ch⟩ /tʃ/, /ʃ/, /k/, or /x/), ⟨gh⟩ (silent, /ɡ/, /k/, /p/, or /f/), ⟨ph⟩ (/f/), ⟨rh⟩ (/r/), ⟨sh⟩ (/ʃ/), ⟨th⟩ (/θ/ or /ð/), ⟨wh⟩ (/hw/ ). The letter is silent in a syllable rime, as in ah, ohm, dahlia, cheetah, pooh-poohed, as well as in certain other words (mostly of French origin) such as hour, honest, herb (in American but not British English) and vehicle. Initial /h/ is often not pronounced in the weak form of some function words including had, has, have, he, her, him, his, and in some varieties of English (including most regional dialects of England and Wales) it is often omitted in all words (see '⟨h⟩'-dropping). It was formerly common for an rather than a to be used as the indefinite article before a word beginning with /h/ in an unstressed syllable, as in "an historian", but use of a is now more usual (see English articles § Indefinite article).

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