ʊә Sound: How to Pronounce The ʊә Diphthong (/ʊə/ Phoneme)

This is the ʊә sound, as in the words:

  • during /’djʊәrɪŋ/
  • security /sɪˈkjʊәrәti/
  • poor /pʊә/


How to Pronounce the ʊә Sound

ʊә sound

The ʊә sound is a diphthong which means it is a combination of two vowel sounds that are pronounced within the same syllable.
 The ʊә sound is a combination of /ʊ/ and /ә/.

Like vowels the diphthongs are all made through the mouth and are voiced which means that you vibrate you vocal chords to make the sound.

Unlike with vowels and consonants, when you pronounce a diphthong sound, your mouth will change position and shape as you say the sound, because they combine two vowel sounds.
 So as you say the /ʊә/ sound your mouth will start on the position of the /ʊ/ sound and finish on the position of the /ә/ sound.

So in this case our mouth goes from being almost closed with slightly rounded lips like we are going to kiss someone, /ʊ/, to being slightly open with relaxed lips, /ә/.

How the ʊә Sound is Spelled

One of the most difficult things about learning English is the spelling. This is because spelling is often not phonetic especially the vowels and diphthongs. So you will find the /ʊә/ sound spelled many different ways. But it is often spelled with the letters “u”, “ou” or “o-o”, There are not many examples of this sound because it is not very common. In fact the three examples we just heard are the most important ones to know. Here they are again.

  • during /’djʊәrɪŋ/
  • hour /aʊә/
  • security /sɪˈkjʊәrәti/

So thats it for the /ʊə/ sound but we have made additional videos on each of the groups of sounds Vowels, Diphthongs, Single Consonants, or Consonant Pairs as well as a video explaining the the phonetic chart.


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