With the recent re-opening of relationships with Cuba, it seems timely to revisit an earlier period of good feelings between the countries. So here’s a video from the 1950s series I Love Lucy, wherein Lucille Ball gives Desi Arnaz a lesson in one of the most confusing aspects of English words.

The truth is that -O-U-G-H has at least 8 different pronunciations:

Pronunciation Example
 -uff  rough
-ok (-okh) lough
-ow plough
-oo through
-oh though
-uhp hiccough
-off cough
-awt thought

Dictionary.com alleges there are 10, differentiating between the “-oh” sounds of “though” and “thorough,” and also differentiating between the “-oo” of “through” and the “-ou” of “slough.” Do you think they are different?

Whether you are translating from all-often-confusing English into a foreign language, or vice versa, e2f can help you overcome the roughest challenges without it ending up like a screwball comedy. Send your toughest tasks to us at [email protected].