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STRUT and LOT words - spelling problems!   

This is a problem for L2 learners of both American and British English:

  • STRUT words (with ) are spelt with u in words like sun cup luck run mud
    and with o in words like son ton love mother brother some

    But the letter o is of course also used for LOT words with (or unrounded in the USA) - 'lot, stop, rock'. So how do you know whether a word spelt with o is a STRUT word or a LOT word?
    Answer: Look it up in a pronunciation dictionary.

    Test yourself on the following words - put them into two groups, according to whether they are STRUT or LOT words:

    accommodate accompany accomplish along another blood body bomb borough bother bottom brothel brother cobbler collar colonize colour come comfort common company conflict congress constable country courage cover does doll done donkey double dove dozen flourish fox front glove gone govern(ment) homage honey honour ironmonger jockey London long love modest monarch Monday money mongrel monkey month mother nominate none nothing nourish(ment) novelty once one onion other politics pompous pond respond robber rough shove sloven soft some somebody son song sonny southern sponge stomach thorough ton tonsil touch tough trod tropical trouble volcanic wallow wan wand wander want warrant was wash watch what won wonder worry yacht young


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