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Unit 17: ough and augh words

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Unit 17: ough and augh words

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Page 8 of 8

Spelling ough and augh words

Rule Breakers - these words break spelling rules  

This ought word rhymes with 'out':
drought A drought is a long period of time with no rain.

In these words the letters augh make the sound /arf/:
laugh A good laugh will make you feel better.
laughter The yard was full of the sound of children's laughter.
draught A draught of cold air came from the open window.
(U.S. spelling: draft)
draughts Draughts is another name for the game of chequers.
(U.S. spelling: checkers)

homophones - learn to spell similar sounding words Homophones from this section.

If you confuse these words the computer spellchecker will not spot your mistake - so it is especially important to learn them.

You will have met most of these homophones in earlier units but they are repeated here as many people make mistakes with ough and augh words.

rough - not smooth

ruff - frill round the neck
The path was rough and rocky.

The bird has a ruff of feathers round its neck.

fort - castle

fought - made war
The fort was bravely defended.

They fought a long battle.

sort - kind, type

sought - past tense of seek
What sort of pizza would you like?

They sought the escaped prisoner.

taut - stretch tight

taught - past tense of 'teach'
The tent ropes must be taut.

I hope that taught you a lesson.

court -
1. playing area
2. law centre (US: center)

caught - past tense of 'catch'

1. Squash is played on an indoor court.
2. He was taken to court for stealing.

I caught the last train home.

bow - lower the head

bough - large branch
They all bowed to the Queen.

The bough was laden with apples.

draught - current of air
(U.S. spelling: draft)

draft - trial version
The open door caused a draught.


This is the first draft of my speech.

This completes the unit on ough and augh words.

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The Spellzone interactive course is intended to be used online and may not be printed.

One of the students has put in a huge amount of effort in completing Spellzone at least 3 times a week since his arrival with us in January. Looking at his scores after the latest GL testing, his standardised score has risen from 99 to 131. This is a truly phenomenal result. I just wanted to share the best result I have ever seen.

Terrie Penrose-Toms, Casterton College

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