Hello there! This is the “Sounds American” channel. In this video we’re going to talk about the American vowel sound /ʊ/, as in the word “put.” You can also hear this sound in words like “push,” “book,” “wolf,” or “could.” We’ll be using a special phonetic symbol – /ʊ/ – for this sound. The /ʊ/ sound exists in less than 20% of the world’s languages that’s why people often confuse it with the /u/ sound, as in the word “blue.” Let’s see if you can distinguish between them Can you tell the difference? If you’re not quite sure, let’s start with learning how to make the /ʊ/ sound. OK. To pronounce the /ʊ/ sound, you should focus on the correct position of your jaw, lips, and tongue. Slightly open your mouth, round your lips, and relax them. Pull your tongue back in your mouth and relax it. Lift the back of your tongue toward the roof of your mouth. Remember, the /ʊ/ is a relaxed sound, so your tongue and lips should be relaxed, and your tongue should be pulled back. Now let’s try saying it: /ʊ/ /ʊ/ /ʊ/ 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 /ʊ/ sound is most frequently written as the letter ‘u’? The /ʊ/ sound is represented by the letter ‘u,’ as in the word “put,” in 45% of cases. Almost the same percentage of words with this sound is written as the combination of the letters ‘oo,’ as in the word “book.” The remaining 10% are split between the letter ‘o,’ as in the word “wolf,” and the combination of the letters ‘ou,’ as in the word “could.” Thanks for watching! Hope you find it useful. Stay tuned on our Sounds American channel!