I found two pronunciations for the same ending (ugh), one sounds like F, and the other one sounds like omitting of the ending ugh.

That's what I found and you're happily invited to edit this post and to add more examples or change incorrect examples:

Sounds like f: though, tough, cough.

Sounds like omitting the ending: bough, dough, thorough, slough, through

Sounds like p: hiccough

Anyway, I couldn't find a rule which can explain when it should be pronounced as p, f, or be omitted. Is there such rule?

  • As a note, in some dialects (BrE, I think) hiccough is pronounced like "cough".
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 0:16
  • 1
    @Catija - No. We pronounce the word like it has a 'p' on the end in BrE and I am unaware of any dialects pronouncing it like it has an 'f' on the end Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 0:31
  • @AdorableSpectacle - Though is pronounced with the same ending as dough Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 0:36
  • 2
    To complicate matters, slough can be pronounced with an f sound, or with no f sound, depending on the meaning. And I don’t think there’s any “rule” for this; ough has a few possible pronunciations and they are what they are.
    – J.R.
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 0:46
  • Nine pronunciations of "ough" are listed in one answer to "How can native English speakers read an unknown word correctly?"
    – Jasper
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


As EnglishClub says

In some languages, you can look at a word and know immediately how to pronounce it. But in English you need to be a little more careful.

There is no rule for pronunciations of words ending in ugh and there are 8 different ways to pronounce the end of these words (see the link above).

English words are not always that difficult. But in general, when you learn a new word, you should also make sure you know its pronunciation. If you do not have a teacher or someone to say the word for you, you can look in a dictionary. All good dictionaries give the pronunciation for each word, often with special symbols. So it's a good idea to look at your dictionary carefully and learn the pronunciation symbols. After that, you'll always be able to find the pronunciation of any word, easily

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