The sound /ʊ/ (near-close back rounded vowel) is a very common vowel sound in the English language. It is the vowel sound in words such as: –
The /u:/ sound is another common vowel sound which is pronounced with a drawn out ‘oo‘ sound and with the lips pushed slightly further out.
Some words that are spelt with a double ‘o‘ use the /u:/ sound: –
However, there are some words spelt with a double ‘o‘ that are pronounced with the /ʊ/ sound instead: –
A common problem is mistaking these two sounds. This is a common problem with some learners of eastern European languages (as well as with students from other areas). Let’s practise these ʊ tongue twisters to help improve this area.
Tongue Twister List
1. He too, took two looks.
2. The cookbook recommended bamboo shoots.
3. The bloody boots were looted.
4. The good groom flooded the room.
5. The football hooligans looked gloomy.
6. Oops, look it’s already noon.
7. She cooked the soot covered roots.
8. He stood on a spoon and looked at the moon.
9. The cool wood was good food.
10. The woodpeckers at the zoo used wool for their room.
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