- “oo” – took, good
- “u” – put, bush
- “o” – wolf, woman
- “oul” – would, should
Grammar Tip: The sound /ʊ/ is in several important modal verbs: could, should, would. These modal verbs are special auxiliary verbs that affect the meaning of the verb following the modal.
These are both high, back, rounded vowels. However, /ʊ/ is a lax vowel and /uw/ is a tense vowel. In order to pronounce /ʊ/, your tongue must be relaxed.
You can hear the difference between /ʊ/ and /uw/ in these words.
2. A. look, B. Luke
3. A. hood, B. who'd
4. A. soot, B. suit
5. A. full, B. fool
6. A. pulls, B. pools
Now compare /ʊ/ with /ʌ/:
These vowels often have the same spelling in English, and they are both lax vowels. However, /ʊ/ is a high, back, rounded vowel and /ʌ/ is a mid, central, unrounded vowel. When you pronounce /ʊ/, your lips must be rounded.
2. A. stood, B. stud
3. A. put, B. putt
4. A. roof, B. rough
5. A. shook, B. shuck
6. A. hoofed, B. huffed
Now, practice /ʊ/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentences.
Have you read any good books lately?
2. put – sugar – pudding
Where did you put the sugar for the pudding?
3. pushed – bushes
The kids pushed the wagon behind the bushes.
4. should – look – textbook
You should look at the review section of the textbook.
5. sure – understood
I’m not sure I understood you correctly.
6. childhood – full - good
My childhood was full of good experiences.
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