How to pronounce ou
I always make sure to provide my accent reduction coaching clients 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!
5 vowel letters = 15 vowel sounds
Most people are unaware that the letters, a, e, i, o & u actually make 15 different sounds.
How to pronounce the letters ou
For example, the vowel combination ou has more than 3 sounds in American English.
Listen to 3 sounds for the letters ou
ou can be pronounced as /ow/ as in Rose.
ou can be pronounced as /ʌ/ as in Mustard.
ou can be pronounced as /aw/ as in Brown.
ou can be pronounced as /uw/ as in Blue
Here’s a sentence that contains all four sounds.
English is a difficult language: it can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.
/ɝ/ as in Purple
/ʌ/ as in Mustard
/ɑ/ as in Olive
/uw/ as in Blue
/ow/ as in Rose
Learn to pronounce the 15 American English vowel sounds
I teach you to pronounce the 15 American English vowel sounds in my iBook, American Accent Fundamentals.
The first chapter is a FREE download, so if you’re an iPad user, check it out.
About the author
Susan Ryan is an American English communication and accent reduction coach.