⟨oo⟩ Pronunciation Rules
The spelling ⟨oo⟩ causes confusion for learners of English pronunciation because it is commonly pronounced as both short /ʊ/ and long /uː/, though there isn’t a rule to indicate which pronunciation should be used. Additionally there are a handful of ⟨oo⟩ words that are neither /ʊ/ or /uː/. Some words with this spelling are pronounced with /ʌ/, /ɔː/ and even /əʊ/.
The problem for most learners is that the spelling looks like a long vowel sound because it has two vowels. The logical place to start learning then, is with those words that are not long, those pronounced with short /ʊ/:
Most other words are pronounced /uː/, however there are a few more alternatives that also need to be learnt. Words pronounced with /ʌ/:
Words pronounced with /ɔː/ (always spelt ⟨oor⟩):
poor /pɔː/ (also /pʊə/)
moor /mɔː/ (also /mʊə/)
And the word ‘brooch’, which is a one-off, it’s pronounced with diphthong /əʊ/:
This leaves the largest group of ⟨oo⟩ words, those pronounced with /uː/, which includes:
The Sound of English
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