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. 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" as in "was." 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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