Pronouncing OO as in “look”

how to pronounce look

I’ll  like to talk about the OO sound as in “look”, “foot”  and “good”.  The IPA symbol for this sound is /ʊ/.  Words with this sound are commonly spelled with “oo”, but sometimes spelled with “ou” as in “would” or “u” as in “put”. Careful – many words with long U are also spelled with “oo” so you probably need to memorize these.

If you remember your phonics, the sound  OO, as in “look”, is not usually represented in traditional phonics teaching.   English teachers hope you’ll pick up this additional “o” sound without formally teaching it.  (Click here for my worksheet with 6 different O and OO sounds in English.)  It’s an uncommon sound in English, occurring only 1% of the time in conversation.

Here are some words with this sound:

put  foot  book  look  took  nook  cook  cookie  

good  could  would  should  pull  full  wool  wolf 

Listen to the OO words here.

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You can also try the minimal word pairs with contrasting the long U (as in “Luke”) with OO (as in “look”) .

Luke  –   look

pool   –  pull

shooed   –  should

kook   –  cook

Listen to the minimal pairs here.

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Practice contrasting the long U sound (as in “Luke”) with OO sound (as in “look”) using this printable minimal pairs worksheet.