English Pronunciation Exercises - U Sounding Vowels


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The following series of pronunciation exercises combines words beginning with the same consonant sound followed by similar vowel sounds. Voiced and voiceless consonants are paired (b - voiced / p - voiceless, d - voiced / t - voiceless, etc.) to help students compare and contrast similar consonant formation. 

  1. Repeat each line slowly, listen for the minor differences between the vowel and consonant sounds.
  2. Repeat each line three times. Each time repeat more quickly trying to keep the sounds distinct.
  3. Find a partner and listen to each other repeat the lines.
  4. Try to invent sentences using each sound at least once. For example, The butcher put on his boots but he forgot his hat.  Don't worry too much about the sentence making much sense!
'long uh' as in 'put' 'short uh' as in 'up' 'oo' as in 'shoe'
butcher but boot
put pup poof!
duh duck do
Tokay tough tooth
good gulp Google
cook cup cool
soot supper suit
Zeus Wazup? zoom
shook shut shoot
jut jump June
churn Chuck choose
hook hub who

Sentences to Practice with Minimal U Sounds

B - The butcher wanted to cook, but he forgot to wear the right boots.

P - My teacher put the pup into the magic circle and it went poof!

D - Duh! I shouldn't have let the duck do the dishes this evening.

T - If you think the Tokay was OK, you'll find the Chardonnay tough on the tooth.

G - Just gulp your beer, and you'll be good enough to Google the answers on the quiz.

C - The wonderful cook cooled the cup of tomato soup before he served it. 

S - The man walked in and shook the soot off of his suit before he sat to supper. 

Z - Zeus said waz'up to Thor as he zoomed through the Greek heavens. 

SH - The boy wanted to shoot the kid who had shook him and told him to shut up.

J - He jut his chin out and jumped into the air on a beautiful day in June.

CH - Chuck told the students that they should choose carefully, and not churn through the mess.

H - Jane's mom, who was the hub of gossip in town, hooked everyone into something.  

Vowel Sounds

'eh' - as in 'let', 'ih' - as in 'hit', 'ee' - as in 'see', and 'ae'- as in 'cat'
'long ah' - as in 'car', 'short ah' - as in 'got'
'long uh' - as in 'put', 'short uh' - as in 'up', 'oo' - as in 'through'

Diphthong Sounds

'ay' - as in 'day', 'ai' - as in 'sky'
'ou' - as in 'home', 'ow' - as in 'mouse', 'oi' - as in 'boy'
'ieh(r)' - as in 'near', 'ehi(r)' - as in 'hair'

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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "English Pronunciation Exercises - U Sounding Vowels." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/pronunciation-exercises-u-sounding-vowels-1212083. Beare, Kenneth. (2023, April 5). English Pronunciation Exercises - U Sounding Vowels. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/pronunciation-exercises-u-sounding-vowels-1212083 Beare, Kenneth. "English Pronunciation Exercises - U Sounding Vowels." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/pronunciation-exercises-u-sounding-vowels-1212083 (accessed June 4, 2023).