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How to pronounce OUGH words in English

 

In this lesson, we’re going to clear up the confusion about how to pronounce this combination of letters: OUGH

The thing is, there’s 6 different ways this combination of letters can be pronounced.

That’s right. Six different ways you can pronounce this exact same sequence of letters.

AGH!

This just highlights again the extreme importance of this key point.

English is not a phonetic language. Meaning, sounds do not equal letters.

Just because you see a certain letter or combination of letters, you can’t just “know” how a word should be pronounced.

Sounds in English do not equal letters. Spelling does not equal pronunciation.

Once you really embrace this, and begin to listen for sounds instead of looking at letters, pronunciation training becomes infinitely easier!

Ok. So back to -OUGH

The good news is, there are not many commonly used words in English that have this combination of letters.

So I’m going to share with you the 6 different sounds this combination of letters can make, AND the most common words with these sounds.

Familiarize yourself with the words in this lesson and you should be good to go with OUGH.

Sound like a plan?

Alright. Let’s do this.


 The 6 Sounds (and most common words) of OUGH

AW as in AUBURN

/ɔ/

AUBURN + /f/

/ɔf/

UH as in MUSTARD + /f/

/ʌf/

OH as in ROSE

/oʊ/

U as in BLUE

/u/

OW as in BROWN

/aʊ/

thought

cough

enough

though

through

drought

fought

trough

rough

although

throughout

bough

bought

 

tough

dough

   

brought

   

doughnut

   

ought

   

thorough

   

wrought

   

furlough

   

nought

         

sought 

         

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