Words that end in -ough in English can cause problems for students of English. This is because -ough is pronounced in several different ways. A short story to illustrate this:
Although Josh was tired, he couldn’t fall asleep. He lay there on a warm summers day, under the bough of a tree, worrying about his job. He was good at his job. He was a baker. He always prepared the dough for the bread carefully. He always allowed enough time for the dough to rise before putting it in the oven. He didn’t knead the dough in a harsh and rough manner because doing so, would mean the bread would be hard and tough.
However he had recently developed a persistent cough. Therefore his boss had told him to stay at home and not come to work. The boss, quite reasonably didn’t want Josh coughing all over the bread. But Josh was worried that he might lose his job. The how would he pay his bills, how would he get through to the end of the month, let alone the rest of the year with no money.
Tough, rough — "-ough" pronounced UFF eg. The cUFF of my shirt is dirty.
Cough — "-ough" pronounced OFF eg. I got OFF my bicycle.
Through — "-ough" pronounced OO eg. Tigers were kept in a zOO.
Although, dough — "-ough" pronounced O eg. I OWE you £5.
Bough — "-ough" pronounced OW eg. Ordinary people must BOW before the Queen.
Hope this helps you.
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