OUGH Spelling

Listen to these words. Is ‘ough’ pronounced the same or differently?

brought cough rough dough through thorough slough

They are all pronounced with a different vowel sound:

brought /brɔ:t/
cough /kɒf/
rough /rʌf/
dough /dəʊ/
through /θru:/
thorough /θʌrə/
slough /slaʊ/

How do you pronounce ‘ough’?

  • ‘ough’ can be pronounced with the following sounds: /ɔ:/, /ɒ/, /ʌ/, /əʊ/, /u:/, /ə/ and /aʊ/.


/ɔ:t/ nought, bought, fought, thought, sought

/ɒf/ cough, trough

/ʌf/ rough, enough, tough

/əʊ/ dough, though, although

/u:/ through

/ə/ borough, thorough

/aʊ/ bough, plough, slough



Listen and repeat the sentences:

A. There was a thoroughly theatrical theme throughout.

B. Although hiccoughs can be rough. Nothing is worse than a cough.

C. Watch out for the drought throughout the borough of Slough!

D. Ploughing through rough ground is incredibly tough.

E. We fought because I thought she’d bought the dough.