The English language is renowned for its sometimes seemingly illogical spelling and pronunciation. -ough is a perfect example of this.Try reading this short passage about investments.
Though I thought investing would be tough, after thoroughly ploughing through the borough … I rethought … due to a drought the price of dough was enough to make one cough, hiccough and splutter.
The shares were worth nought – I have since thrown them it in the lough. Maybe Nessie will slough her skin when she sees them. I ought to have known better! Investing really is a series of peaks and troughs!
Now listen and find out how thoroughly thoughtless English pronunciation can be!
Now try these worksheets:The Nine Pronunciations of -ough Rhyming Words
Here area couple more sentences to test your pronunciation:
A rough-coated, dough-faced ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing thoughtfully.
I thought it would be tough to plough through the soil, though it was falling into the lough at the end of the field that left me thoroughly coughing and hiccoughing.
And just for fun, here is a poem by William Thomas Goodge.
“Ough” A Phonetic Fantasy
- The baker-man was kneading dough
- And whistling softly, sweet and lough.
- Yet ever and anon he’d cough
- As though his head were coming ough!
- “My word!” said he, “but this is rough:
- This flour is simply awful stough!”
- He punched and thumped it through and through,
- As all good bakers dough!
- “I’d sooner drive,” said he “a plough
- Than be a baker anyhough!”
- Thus spake the baker kneading dough;
- But don’t let on I told you sough!