If you have been learning English for some time now, you would have come across some ‘intricacies’ of this language, which can drive people mad. There are several reasons for that. Let’s start with the first one:
English is NOT a phonetic language!
A phonetic language is a language, where you can look at the spelling of the word and the pronunciation is represented by it. This means that the way you will read it is the correct pronunciation. It also works the other way around. In a phonetic language, you will be able to correctly spell a word, when you hear it. Unfortunately, English does NOT fall into this category. Look at the example of ‘ough’. There are seven!! different ways of pronouncing it.
though (like o in go)
through (like oo in too)
cough (like off in offer)
rough (like uff in suffer)
plough (like ow in flower)
ought (like aw in saw)
borough (like a in above)
How are we meant to guess the different ways of pronouncing these words solely from the spelling? Sadly, you can’t.
Consult this man for some ‘ough’ pronunciation tips: