The letters "oo" can represent several different vowel sounds. This letter combination is most commonly used for vowel /u/. Next most common is vowel /ʊ/. Below find a list of the most frequently used words with "oo." Since the most frequent accent error pattern for these sounds is to use /u/ instead of /ʊ/, I recommend learning the words with /ʊ/. Note that several of these words serve as suffixes in longer words (for example: hood - neighborhood, adulthood; wood - firewood, deadwood; etc.).
Use the recording and list below to test your listening - can you tell which vowel sound is in the word? Consider writing the words using /u/ or /ʊ/ as you listen. Check your work with the lists above.
Vowel U /ʊ/ is a rounded, high lax back vowel, which means it is made with the tongue pulled back and high in the mouth. The lips are rounded for this vowel, but not as tightly engaged as they are for the /u/ vowel.
The most common error pattern for this vowel is to use a more tense, rounded "oo" /u/ in place of the lax /ʊ/. Listen to the following word pairs to help hear the difference between these two vowel sounds.
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How to use this page
Find your target sound. Listen to the words. Repeat each word until you are confident in your pronunciation. Use your recording tool to record the sample and your word. Playback and compare. Repeat until your production matches the sample.