U sound in Italian

U is a vowel. How do you pronounce U in Italian? Read on to find out.

How to pronounce U in Italian

U is always pronounced in the same way, no matter its position in the word. It sounds like the oo in loo, but it’s more closed.

Its IPA symbol is /u/.

U
U sound

Examples:

Uva, lupo, ululare, super, mucca
(/ˈuva/, /ˈlupo/, /uluˈlare/, /ˈsuper/, /ˈmukka/)
Grapes, wolf, to howl, super, cow

a smiling cow

Length of the U sound

The U sound in Italian can be short or long.

It is long if it’s stressed and it’s at the end of the syllable, but not at the end of a word. For example…

Laguna
(/laˈguna/)
Lagoon

Listen closely. The “u” in laguna is long, since it’s stressed and is at the end of the syllable (gu).

Presunta
(/preˈzunta/)
Alleged

a lake and some trees

The stress is yet again on the second “u” vowel, but its length is short because the syllable ends with an -n (sun).


Other Italian words with the U sound

Upupa
(/ˈupupa/)
Hoopoe

Puzza
(/ˈputtsa/)
Bad smell

Lusso
(/ˈlusso/)
Luxury

Salubre
(/saˈlubre/)
Healthy

Lucciola
(/ˈlutʧola/)
Firefly

Futuro
(/fuˈturo/)
Future

kids fantasizing on their future careers

Your turn!

Pronounce each given word.

Easy


Hard


More free Italian resources

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