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English Pronunciation: How to say words ending in -OUGH & -AUGH

Hi. Welcome back to I’m Adam. In today’s lesson we’re going to look at words
that generally confuse people, especially when it comes time to say them, words that
have the “ough” or the “augh” inside them. And the reason they’re confusing is because
they don’t sound anything like they look. Now, this is a common
problem in English. English is not a
phonetically-spelled language. In other languages, the way a
word looks is the way it sounds. In English, not so much. So we’re going to look at the different
sounds that you can have with these letters. And the thing you’re going to have to
remember is: This is about memorization. Now, I know that some
of you are asking me: “Well, why do I say it like this?”
or “Why do I say it like that?” I don’t know. I’m sorry to tell you that. There is no answer. You have to remember each word, how it’s pronounced, and
just remember it, and use it, and practice it, etc. So if you look here, you’ll notice that I have
eight different sounds for “ough” or “augh”. Okay? Let’s start with “uff”, “uff”: “tough”, “rough”, “enough”. So, even though it’s
“o-u-g-h”, there’s no “ough”. Okay? That… There’s no such sound
as “ough” in English. All of these have
a specific sound. We’re starting with “uff”:
“tough”, “rough”, “enough”. Now, this word I’m going to get
back to in one second. Okay? Let’s look at the next one. “Oo”. Very straight: “oo”. “Through”, like you
go through the wall. If you’re going really fast and you
break through the wall, you’re through. “Ghoul”, “ghoul”. A ghoul like is a some… Is like a… An animal that waits… Or it’s like a mystical or… Sorry. A fictional animal that waits for somebody to die
and gets pleasure out of other people’s death. When people, for example, if you’re driving
on the highway and you see a really bad car accident and you slow down to have a look,
people might call you a ghoul because you want to see blood, you
want to see death. Not a good word, but that’s
how it’s pronounced. “Ghoul”, “oo”. Now, let’s go back to this word. The reason why I put it in the middle here is
because this word actually has two meanings, each one pronounced differently:
“slough”, “slough”. Okay? Different meanings. Sl-… It’s not a word you’re going to use
very often, but “slough” is a… It’s basically like a marsh,
like a very wet area. It’s not a lake,
it’s not a pond. There’s a lot of weeds and lots of plant
in it, and it’s very thick, but that’s… Another word for
that is “slough”. “Slough”, now, a lot of people
will write it like this: “slew”. Especially American English,
you can spell it like that. “Slough” means a lot. So: “He’s got a slough of problems”,
means he’s got a lot of problems. This is more common usage, but again, you’re going to
see this more often than you’re going to see that. But if you do see that, like if you’re reading
British English, for example, you’re going to see that. Just understand in context which
word it is, “slough” or “slough”. Okay. Next: “af”. So notice I’m using the “a” here, not the “o”,
so that gives you a little bit of a hint, but not exactly because we’re
going to look at something else. “Laugh”, everybody
knows “laugh”, hahaha. Right? And “draught”. Now, again, American
English, they don’t bother, they just spell it like
that, “draft”, exactly how it sounds,
exactly as it looks. But “draught” has
different meanings. One, you can have a draught
beer, like a beer from the keg. You can drink that,
draught beer. There’s also a draught,
like a drawing. Like an architect, for
example, when he… When he or she designs a building they make a
draught of the plans, and once everything’s agreed and everything’s settled then
they make the actual final plans. You can also have
draughts of your essays. First draught, second draught. You make all the edits and
changes, and you get to the end. So, “af”, and the “t” we’re
going to come back to… Remember that “t”, we’re going
to talk about that in a second. Now, “up”. There’s only one word that sounds like
“up”, and it’s spelt with an “ough”. [Hiccoughs]. Oop, sorry, that was a hiccough. Okay? Again, American English will
spell it like this: “hiccup”. British English will spell it like
this, but they sound the same. “Hiccough”. Okay. “Of”: “cough”, “trough”. Again, not an everyday word, but
you might hear it occasionally. A “trough” is like a… Like a box that you put
water or food for animals. So in the Western movies you see a horse coming
down, is bending down and there’s a box with water and it’s drinking. That box is a trough. When you… When we speak about pigs eating,
they usually eat out of a trough. “Aow”, like: “Aow, that hurt.
Aow”. “Plough”. “Plough”, like a farmer
has this big tool… Well, in the old days they had this
big tool and the bull would… They hook it onto the bull and they would
plough the land, they would make holes to plant their seeds. Okay? Now, again, a more common spelling is this one:
“plow”, but you will see this one as well. This one. Now, here you have
to be very careful. These words: “draught” and
“drought”, they look very similar. The only difference
is an “o” and an “a”. Keep that “o” and “a” in mind because that’s the
difference between the two when you see them. “Drought” is when there’s a long period of time
with no rain, so the land is very, very dry. Okay? That’s a drought. Okay. “Ow”, “ow”: “dough”, like when you put flour
and water together and mix them, and you have that pasty stuff, that’s dough. Now, you… You might know this word:
“doughnut”, a very sweet treat. Okay? Again, Americans spell it like
this: “donut”, much easier. British people will spell
it “doughnut”, but “dough”. Now, when we talk about
the slang word for money: “Do you have any
dough I can borrow? Do you have any money
I could borrow?” We’re still using
the same “dough”. “Though”, “although”, “though” is
a conjunction for adverb clauses. Now, this one’s a little bit tricky, you have
to be careful because this is a “the”, and then this is a
“row”: “thorough”. “Thorough” means
very complete, full. When you’re making a thorough investigation,
you’re doing a complete, very detailed, in-depth investigation. “Thorough”. Okay? Don’t confuse “thorough” with… Where is it? “Through”, “thorough”,
and “though”. Where’s the “ow”? Oh, right above it. Sorry. Okay. These, one, two, three… One, two, three words
all look very similar. Make sure you notice the slight differences
and the different pronunciations. “Borough”. If any of you live in New York, you know the
five boroughs, basically the neighbourhood or the area of a city
is called a borough. A “furlough”, this is
something that is… Happens in the military. When a soldier gets a little vacation
time, they don’t call it a vacation. They call it a “furlough”, time away
from the military, approved time. “Furlough”. But again, the actual spelling gives you no
hint as to how to pronounce the word, so you have to be very careful about it
and just remember and use it. And then: “ot”, this is the
most common one you know. A lot of the irregular verbs in the
past tense become these. Right? “Think”, “thought”. “Catch”, “caught”. Now, here, the “a” or the “o” makes no
difference; they both sound exactly the same. But in writing, of course, spelling matters
so make sure you know exactly how it’s spelt and how it’s pronounced. They sometimes can
come in the middle. “Daughter”, “ought”. You ought to study this and practice,
and you’ll be better at it. Now, remember I told you
to remember the “t”? Notice that most of the times when you have
the “ough” or the “augh” followed by a “t”, the sound is going to be “ot”. But because this is English, and English likes
to be complicated and difficult, we sometimes have exceptions to the rule. “Draught”, “caught”. Okay? Or “daughter” or whatever. Keep that in mind. Now, again, I wish I could tell you there’s a
reason for it, and I’m sure for linguists, there probably is, but
it’s not important. What’s important is that you know the
different sounds, you know how to use them. Now, there aren’t many other words
with these “ough” or “augh”. These are the ones
you need to know. If you come across other
ones, what should you do? If you’re not sure which sound
it is, look in the dictionary. The dictionary will tell you exactly which
sound goes with each “ough” or “augh” sound, as it were. Okay? Now, if you have any questions, please
come to and join the forum, and you can ask me any
questions you like. There is a quiz there right now
that you can practice these sounds. You will rhyme them with other words
to make sure that they sound the same. And, of course, subscribe to my channel
on YouTube and come again soon. Bye.

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