How to pronounce ou

How to pronounce ou

When I work with my accent reduction coaching clients, I always make sure to provide them with a solid foundation of the American English vowel sounds.

Vowel LETTERS vs vowel SOUNDS

Note that I emphasized vowel SOUNDS!  This is an important distinction! ✔

Most people (native & non-native speakers) are unaware that the 5 vowel letters, a, e, i, o & u actually make 15 different sounds.

Once my accent reduction clients learn which vowel sounds to use, they’re able to clear up many of their pronunciation challenges.

How to pronounce the letters ou

For example, the vowel combination ou has 3 sounds in American English.

/ow/ as in ROSE

/ʌ/ as in MUSTARD

/aw/ as in BROWN


 Listen to the 3 sounds of the letters ou


ou can be pronounced as /ow/ as in ROSE.

  • shoulder
  • soul
  • though
  • doughnut
  • although

ou can be pronounced as /ʌ/ as in MUSTARD.

  • cousin
  • enough
  • country
  • tough
  • couple

ou can be pronounced as /aw/ as in BROWN.

  • loud
  • sound
  • south
  • found
  • house

Learn to pronounce the 15 American English vowel sounds

☆ If you’re ready  learn to pronounce the 15 American English vowel sounds check out my iBook, American Accent Fundamentals at the button below.☆

American Accent Fundamentals - Susan M. Ryan

My iBook will teach you to pronounce the American English vowel sounds, including ou, using relevant and fun audio lessons!

The first chapter is FREE,  so if you’re an iPad user, check it out.