Pronunciation is Tough
Could English pronunciation be one of the most difficult? I am currently learning Spanish and I love the fact that each word is written exactly as it’s pronounced. Which is why I feel sorry for my English students when they are struggling with pronunciation and also why I feel so proud of them when they finally master a word that they have been stuck on.
In just the ‘ough’ combination of letters alone, there are eleven different pronunciations. Wait...ELEVEN? How will you ever remember them? Associating the sounds with other sounds from words you already know is one way to do it. I want to show you eight of the most common sounds that ‘ough’ makes. Here are some examples of pronunciation groups to help you with your pronunciation:
/ʌf/ enough, rough, tough
Rhymes with - puff, stuff, fluff
/aʊ/ drought, plough
Rhymes with - how, cow, now
/oʊ/ although, dough, though
Rhymes with - toe, no, so
/ɔː/ bought, brought, fought, ought, thought
Rhymes with - caught, sort, taught
Rhymes with - true, blue, new
/ə/ borough, thorough (Pronounced /oʊ/ in American English)
Sounds like - doctor, colour, flavour
/əp/, /ʌp/ hiccough
To help you further you could make poems or try to incorporate one of these words into your conversation every day. If you like, write a short poem or paragraph below and I will correct it.