Hello there! This is the “Sounds American” channel. In this video we’re going to talk about
the American vowel sound /u/, as in the word “blue”. You can also hear this sound in words like “rule,” “too,” “do,” or “new”. Please, note that we’ll be using a special phonetic symbol – /u/ – for this sound. The /u/ sound is not unique to American English, but non-native English speakers usually make this sound too relaxed. Listen to these words: If they sound the same to you or if you’re not sure about it, this video might help you. Keep watching, and let’s find out how to make this vowel sound. OK. To make the /u/ sound, you should focus on the correct position of your jaw, lips, and tongue. Open your mouth a little and push your lips out, making a small, tense circle. Pull your tongue far back in your throat and tense it. Raise the back of the tongue toward the roof of your mouth Remember, the /u/ is a tense sound, so your lips and tongue should be tense. Your tongue should be pulled back in your mouth. Let’s try saying it: /u/ /u/ /u/ Now, let’s practice this sound in some words. You’ll see a word on a screen and hear
its pronunciation. Like this: You’ll have a few seconds to pronounce the
word, if you want to. [sound prompt to start speaking] Let’s begin! You’re done! Congratulations! By the way, did you know that the /u/ sound is written as the letter “u” in less than 50% of cases? More on the spelling: the /u/ sound is written as the letter “u” in 47% of cases. It’s also often written as the combination of the letters “oo” or as the single letter “o,” as in the words “too” and “do,” respectively. Sometimes, this vowel sound is represented by the combinations of the letters “ew,” as in the word “new,” or “ou,” as in the word “soup.” Thanks for watching! Hope you find it useful. Stay tuned on our Sounds American channel!