U Sounds Diagram and Explanation

U sounds

We already learned the Short U which is the Schwa sound.

Long U Pronunciation: This is the kissing vowel. Put your lips in a kissing position, and you have the Long U sound. However, sometimes we say only the Long U, and sometimes we say Y + Long U. 

Long U Spellings: This sound has several spellings: oo, o_e, u_e, ue and ew, as in soon, move, rule, blue and new respectively.

Relaxed U

Through common use, the Long U sound has a relaxed form. You can see the difference using the OO words above. To make this sound, relax the lips, but keep the inside of the mouth in a slightly rounded position. The sound is similar to a light groan.

Relaxed U
: The relaxed U sound has several spellings: u, oo and ou. The U spelling is actually rare. It is found in words like put, pull and full. Examples of the relaxed U with other spellings include good, book, would, could and should. Get extra practice with the relaxed U sound and answer speaking questions.

Long U with Extra Y Sound

Sometimes there is an extra Y sound in front of U, as in music

Y + Long U Spellings: Several consonant sounds make the extra Y more likely, especially c, f, m, p and l as in accuse, fume, music, pure and volume. Americans and British speakers differ on when to add the Y, so it is important to check the pronunciation in an American dictionary if unsure. Dictionary.com has standard American English pronunciation.
750 Business WordsU Sounds Main Page
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