The letter “U” has three different sounds, but one thing that is unique about “U” is that it has two Long-vowel sounds. The basic sounds of the English letter “U” are: Long-U-1, Long-U-2, and Short-u.
How can you tell if a “U” has a long or short sound?
- “u” + consonant + vowel = Long “u” sound.
- “u” + consonant + (end of word) = Short “u” sound.
- “u” + consonant + consonant = Short “u” sound.
Examples of the Vowel [u]
- prove [pɹuv]
- cool [kul]
- suit [sut]
- dude [dud]
- food [fud]
- food [fud]
- food [fudɪ]
- food [fud]
A long vowel is a vowel sound that is pronounced the same way as the name of the letter itself. For example, the long U sound is pronounced like "yoo," as would be the case in words like "lure" and "tube." By contrast, the short U sound is pronounced more like "uh," as in words like "cub" and "tub."
Some examples of short 'u' sound words include: jump, mug, sun, duck, bus, umbrella, drum, truck, hut, gum, cut, mud, and cup.
Short-u Word Rugs (Short-u Sound)
The long vowel sound for U sounds like “you”. Words like unicorn, cube, statue, music, duty, human, and tissue use U's long vowel sound.
Long-u Word Fruit (Long-u Sound)
Spelling tip: 'oo' most often makes a long 'oo' sound (often before 'n', 'm' and 'l'). Spelling tip: 'oo' can give a short 'u' sound (often before 'd' and 'k'). *Note: accent may affect pronunciation.
From duck to truck, lots of words have the short u vowel sound.
Short U Word Wheel
Match 10 words that have the short U sound. The words are jump, sun, drum, truck, cup, umbrella, jug, pup, plum, up.
The correct spelling is "cube." The word "cube" has a long "u" sound. Its long vowel spelling pattern is C-V-C-e.
The 3 Letter Words Starting With U are urn, use, uke, udo, ugh, ulu, umm, ute, ups, etc.
oo sound /u/
The letters oo are the best known spelling of the oo sound. The oo sound is very similar to the long u sound. The only difference between the oo sound and the long u sound is that the long u sound begins with a quick y sound.
The basic pronunciation of the "long u" sound is /juː/, but because of "yod-dropping", the pronunciation /uː/ is used instead after /dʒ/ or /r/, or after a consonant cluster ending in /l/.
They are back vowels. /u/ is pronounced for a shorter duration and shorter stress in comparison with /u:/ /u:/ on the other hand is a longer vowel with a long stress. The words with /u/ are : /u/ - full, pull, rule, flu, truth.
And if a word has two vowels next to each other, the first vowel usually is pronounced long (examples: sail, bean, soap, juice).
"oo" as in "good", "put", "could", "wolf". "ooh" as in "moon", "flute", "chew", "soup", "hula", "blue", "fruit", "to", "lose", "shoe", "sleuth". This tends to get lumped in with "long u" as it shares some spellings and is one of the two sounds in the letter name U ("y" + "ooh").
The 'long u' /yu/ is a 2-sound vowel similar to a 'y sound' /y/ followed by an 'oo sound' /u/. Part 1: The 'long u' /yu/ begins with the jaw mostly closed and tip of the tongue very close to the tooth ridge (similar to a 'y sound' /y/).