What is the difference between the following two sentences:

  • Oh, that’s nice!
  • Ooh, that’s nice!

I looked it up in several dictionaries and the definitions were similar, the pronunciation is different though:

Word definition and pronunciation on Youglish
oh oh oh that's nice
ooh ooh ooh that's nice

2 Answers 2


There is no grammatical difference between them, but they can convey slightly different tones. When saying "oh" out loud, you can deliberately extend the long "o" sound to put emphasis on it. The spelling with an extra "o" or "h" can be used to suggest this.

In terms of tone, "Oh, that’s nice!" sounds polite, while "Ooh, that’s nice!" sounds more informal and conveys more emotion.

  • The dictionary suggests they are pronounced using different vowels oh /oʊ/ and ooh /uː/. Is that what you mean when you say about prolonging the o sound? May 7, 2021 at 8:27
  • "Ooh" could be interpreted as meaning either of those sounds. Which one is heard more often might depend on the region.
    – windblade
    May 7, 2021 at 8:59

They are pretty much the same thing. "Ooh" is just a spelling variant of "Oh", just like "Bye" can also be written as "By", although the latter is uncommon.

  • 1
    "Bye" cannot be written as "By". They are very different words, and it is 100% incorrect to spell "Bye" as "By". It might be written that way in very informal messages where there's not much room for text and misspellings are encouraged, like a tweet or a text message, but that's it. Don't ever write it that way.
    – windblade
    May 7, 2021 at 9:16
  • @windblade lexico.com/definition/by May 7, 2021 at 9:51
  • I did some research, and I was wrong. There ARE alternate spellings where goodbye is spelled "good-by" or something similar, it's just that these spellings have fallen out of favor in recent years. My advice remains that you should still definitely use "bye" when shortening goodbye, as doing otherwise can be seen as a mistake, even if it was not considered a mistake in the past.
    – windblade
    May 7, 2021 at 19:18

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