Many students are not aware that /uː/ and /ʊ/ are different phonemes. For them a prerequisite lesson is Pronunciation exercises: /uː/ vs /ʊ/.
/uː/[edit | edit source]
- boom - boost - boot - brood - choose - cool - coot - crooner - doom - drool - droop - food - fool - hoop - hoot - loop - loose - loot - mood - moon - moose - moot - noon - pool - proof - root - school - schooner - scoop - shoot - soon - spook - spool - snooker - snooze - stool - stoop - tool - toot - tooth - troop - zoom
Note that /ʊ/ cannot end a word. The following words necessarily end in /uː/. Stress marks added to facilitate pronunciation.
- bamˈboo - boo - ˈcuckoo /ˈkʊkuː/ - ˈigloo - kangaˈroo - moo - shamˈpoo - shoo - taˈboo - tatˈtoo - too - ˈvoodoo - ˈWaterloo or Waterˈloo - zoo
/ʊ/[edit | edit source]
Only a few consonants can follow /ʊ/.
- /d/: childhood - good - hood - neighborhoodAmE - neighbourhoodBrE - stood - understood - wood
- /k/: book - brook - cook - crook - hook - look - rook - shook - took
- /l/: wool
- /t/: foot - soot
For some people /f/ and /m/ can be added to the above consonants (see "/uː/ or /ʊ/" below).
- /f/: hoof - roof
- /m/: broom - groom - room
/uː/ or /ʊ/[edit | edit source]
In the 1920s and earlier the more usual pronunciation of room was probably /rʊm/. In the United Kingdom in 1988, 81% pronounced /ruːm/. In the United States in 1993 the figure was higher: 93%.
Exceptions[edit | edit source]
- /ɔː/: door - floor
- /ʌ/: blood - flood
- Different syllables
- /əʊ ɒ/: cooperate - cooperation - zoologist - zoology
- /əʊ ə/: zoological
- /əʊ ɔː/: coordinate - coordination - microorganism
- Two different words
- no one (* is a misspelling)