The Hard Sign ъ
Like the soft sign ь, the hard sign ъ is unpronounced. The hard sign ъ indicates the consonant it follows is to be pronounced hard. It can only be written between a consonant and a vowel and usually follows a prefix. It is used to prevent a soft-indicating vowel from softening the preceding consonant. It creates a brief pause between the consonant and the vowel. The prefix prior to the hard sign ъ is pronounced clearly, almost as if it were a separate word. The preceding consonant is pronounced noticeably hard. The hard sign ъ separates consonants from the vowels e, ё, ю, and я.
The Hard Sign ъ between a consonant and a vowel
uncle (acc. case)