- "u" - cup, dumb
- "o" - onion, month
- "ou" - rough, country
- "oo" - blood, flood
- "oe" (not common) - does
These are both central vowels. However, /ʌ/ is a mid vowel, and /ɑ/ is a low vowel. When you pronounce /ʌ/, your tongue should be in the middle of your mouth and your mouth should not be opened widely.
These are both central vowels. However, /ʌ/ is pronounced with a central tongue, while /ɜr/ is pronounced with a slightly higher tongue. Your lips should be slightly rounded when you pronounce /ɜr/, but not when you pronounce /ʌ/.
You can hear the difference between /ʌ/ and /ɜr/ in these words.
Now, practice /ʌ/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentence.
What can I use to cut the butter?
2. does - want – country - customs
Does he want to learn our country’s customs?
3. mother - coming - Sunday
My mother is coming on Sunday.
4. bus - another - one
If we miss the bus, we will wait for another one
5. colors – sunset – wonderful
The colors of the sunset are wonderful.
6. government – budget – summer
The government will set a budget by this summer.
To practice with different varieties of English, choose another native English speaker by clicking one of the links below: