OUGH is pronounced at least 5 different ways in English!
Here are some of the most common words with their pronunciation and examples.
1. Pronounced like the “o” in “no”
Dough (n.) = a soft mass used to make bread; a mix of flour, water, milk, etc
- I want to make my own bread, but I need a recipe for the dough.
Though / Although (conj.) = these words are used with a contrasting situation
- Although he studied very hard, he failed the test.
- He’s the most handsome man I’ve ever seen! I think he has a girlfriend, though.
Thorough (adj.) / Thoroughly (adv.) = done in a complete and detailed way
- I did a thorough analysis of the situation; I studied every part of the problem.
- The police searched the house thoroughly – they looked in every corner of every room.
2. Pronounced like the “aw” in “saw”
Bought (v.) = Simple past of “buy”
- I bought milk and eggs at the supermarket
Brought (v.) = Simple past of “bring”
- I brought a good book to read on the train.
Ought (aux. v.) = Should
- If you’re sick, you ought to see a doctor.
Fought (v.) = Simple past of “fight”
- I fought with my brother last week. He’s still angry and he’s not speaking to me.
Thought (v.) = Simple past of “think”
- I thought about buying a car, but then I decided to buy a motorcycle instead.
3. Pronounced like “uff” in “stuff”
Enough (adj.) = Sufficient
- I was so busy that I didn’t have enough time to do my homework yesterday.
Rough (adj.) = With an irregular, uneven surface (the opposite of “smooth”)
- The skin on his hands is rough because he works in manufacturing.
Tough (adj.) = Strong, not easy to break or cut
- This meat is so tough that I can’t cut it with my knife.
4. Pronounced like “off”
Cough (v.) = When you’re sick, to put air out of your mouth and make a sound.
- She’s very sick – she can’t stop coughing.
5. Pronounced like the “oo” in “too”
Through (prep.) = To go in one side and out the other side.
- The car drove through the tunnel.