TIP: Do not confuse pronunciation of words with their spelling! For example, “threw” and “through”, although spelled differently, are pronounced the same. Also, identical letters or letter clusters in words do not always produce the same sound. For example, the “ough” in “though” and “through” represents a different sound in each word. Learn to practice what you hear, not what you see.
Try to understand the pronunciation differences in this poem:
Hints on pronunciation for foreigners
I take it you already know
of tough and bough and cough and dough.
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps.
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead-it’s said like bed, not bead.
For goodness sake, don’t call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat.
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for pear and bear.
And then there’s dose and rose and lose
Just look them up–and goose and choose.
And cork and work and card and ward.
And font and front and word and sword.
And do and go, then thwart and cart.
Come, come I’ve hardly made a start.
A dreadful language? Man alive,
I’d mastered it when I was five!
If you don’t know how to pronounce all the words…ask your teacher!