Pronunciation 8 - Difficult Letter Combinations: OUGH and AUGH
Words like ENOUGH, LAUGH and THROUGH can cause problems for people because it is difficult to see how they should be pronounced.
The letter combination we are looking at is UGH, and it can have 2 ways of being pronounced, the sound of F as in Five, or silent.
Looking at examples where UGH sounds like F as in Five,
The word ENOUGH sounds like E NUF, where the U in NUF sounds like the U in cUp, and the E sounds like the I in sIt.
(It is common for an E to sound like the I in sIt, as in words like Economy, Explain, Enough, Engage, and there are many more.)
The word LAUGH sounds like LAF, where the A in lAf sounds like the A in cAr.
The word ROUGH sounds like rUf, where the U in rUf sounds like the U in cUp.
The word TOUGH sounds like tUf, where the U in tUf sounds like the U in cUp.
Looking at examples where UGH is silent,
The word THOUGHT sounds like THOT, where the TH souds like the TH in THin, and the O sounds like the O in dOg.
The word THOUGH sounds like THO, where the TH sounds like the TH in THat, and the O sounds like to OU combination in nO.
The word THROUGH sounds like THRU, where the TH sounds like TH in THin, and the U sounds like the U in blUe.
(Notice that U can sound like the U in cUp, the U in pUll, the U in blUe, where the silent E affects its sound as described previously, and the U in tUbe, which sounds like YOU.)
Examples to work with these kinds of words are given below: