The crazy spelling of English reflects the etymology (or origin) of English vocabulary.
Begin by watching Claire Bowern’s simple TED Talk on the origins of English.
So. now you know that the reason why these endings are spelled similarly but are pronounced differently is due to their country/language of origin.
Now, let’s look at some specific examples:
One set of “gh” words rhyme with “stuff.” Here are some common examples.
Another set rhymes with the word “off.” Here are some common examples.
Another group rhymes with “O.” Here are some common examples.
(though, although, borough)
Another group rhymes with “awe.”
( fought, naught, ought, sought, wrought, thought…)
Another group rhymes with “too.”
A final group rhymes with “how.”
More Practice: The above lesson was following English pronunciation rules.
If you would like to hear the same lesson, but using British pronunciation, read and listen to Howtospell’s thorough (ough, sounds like O) video.