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The spelling "ou" can have several sounds. As you can see from the list below, there is one sound that is used the most: the double vowel. This is the sound of the Short A (as in "cat") followed by the Long O (as in "no").
And yet, there are 5 other pronunciations.
Though there are a few spelling and pronunciation patterns, they are not free from exceptions. The best way to learn these words is to memorize them.
vowel, as in "ouch"
count, counter, county, doubt, drought, foul, flour, found, fountain,
ground, hour, house, mountain, mouth, noun, our, out, pound, pout,
round, route*, shout, sound, sour, south, thousand
U, as in "good"
with the conditional words
tough, enough, country, young
with some common words
fought, sought, cough
spelled with "ough" and final T
dough, thorough, four, pour, tour, soul
sounds like "thurō"
has 2 pronunciations--people use both
500 Words: Short Vowels
500 Words: Long Vowels
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Sounds of the Letter A
Sounds of the Letter I
Sounds of the Letter O
500 Common Words