Italian Vowel

The Italian letter U has two pronunciations. The explanation and equivalents provided here are based on the closest sounds that exist in American English, which are sometimes not very close at all. Phonetic symbols are provided in [brackets].

1. The normal u sound is similar to English "oo" as in food and boot. Phonetic symbol: [u].

Italian sound files Per esempio…
the letter u
uno   a, one
uva   grape
umido   humid
lunedì   Monday
lattuga   lettuce

2. When u is followed by a or o, it diphthongs with that vowel and is pronounced much like an English w. Phonetic symbol: [w].

uovo   egg
tuoni   thunder
acqua   water
buonasera   good evening

Hard vs soft

U is a hard vowel.

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Italian pronunciation

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