Pronunciation > Double letters > "OO" in English words

"OO" in English words

By Alena Lien, 18 Sept 2018

 

 

There are 5 distinct ways of pronouncing "oo" in English words. Usually "oo" occurs in the middle of words but is sometimes found at the end of words.

1.   /u:/ (long "oo")

This is the most common. 

  • Cool

  • Soon

  • Zoom

  • Balloon

All words that end with "oo" are pronounced this way.

  • Yahoo

  • Kangaroo

  • Shampoo

2.   /ʊ/ (short "oo")

This is also pretty common. 

  • Foot

  • Wool

Letter groups that end with a "k" or a "d" are mostly pronounced this way but with some exceptions.

Ending with "k":

  • Book

  • Cookie

  • Mistook

 

Exceptions are spook (/spuːk/) and snooker (/ˈsnuː.kər/) 

Ending with "d":

  • Good

  • Childhood

  • Understood

 

Exceptions are brood (/bruːd/), food (/fuːd/) and mood (/muːd/)

3.   /ɔː/ ("open-o")

There are several words where it is pronounced this way.

  • Door

  • Floor

  • Poor

4.   /ʌ/ ("a")

There are only two words where it is pronounced this way.

  • Blood

  • Flood

5.   Separated (2 o's)

This usually occurs when 2 words (or a prefix to a word) are joined together. 

  • Cooperate

  • Zoology

  • Microorganism

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