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215+ Long U Vowel Sound Words (Free Printable Lists)

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Learn all about the Long U sound, including the 2 sounds long U can make. Then, grab yourself two printable pdf lists with over 215 long U vowel sound words, organized by sound and spelling pattern.

A corkboard with two Long U Worksheets with 213 Long U words displayed.

All About Long U

In our previous long vowel posts, we’ve consistently said that the rule for long vowels is: long vowels say their name:

  • Long a says /ā/ like acorn.
  • Long e says /ē/ like equal.
  • Long i says /ī/ like ice.
  • Long o says /ō/ like ocean.
  • Long u says /yoo/ like unicorn, OR /oo/ like ruler.

You’ll probably notice something a little different! Long U makes TWO sounds!

Learn about the 12 ways to spell the two Long U sounds, and at the bottom of this post find two printable pdf lists, organized by sounds and spelling patterns.

Graphic listing the 5 ways to spell long u sound with keyword and picture

First Sound of Long U: U says /yoo/

Let’s discuss the first sound of long U, where we hear the U saying its name – ū or /yoo/.

There are five ways to spell long U:

  • u like unicorn*
  • u-e like mute*
  • ew like curfew*
  • ue like argue*
  • eu like eucalyptus

👩‍🏫 I focus most of my instruction on the spelling patterns we find most frequently in text, marked with an asterisk (*) above.

U – Open Syllable

The letter U will be long in a syllable that ends with the letter U. We call syllables that end in a vowel open syllables.

An open syllable can be at the beginning of a word like u/ni/corn OR in the middle of a word like du/ty.

👉 English words do not end in the letter U, so we will rarely see an open syllable U at the end of a word unless it is derived from another language (e.g. menu comes from French).


U-E (Long U with Silent E)

🤐 The uconsonant-e pattern is another way to spell long ū. In this silent E spelling, the ū sound will be in the middle of the word. The E at the end will stay silent, making the U says it’s name.


EW (Vowel Team)

EW is a vowel team for long U. The W is considered a vowel in this team. Vowel team EW is used at the end of base words like the ones listed below.


UE (Vowel Team)

In this vowel team, the U+E join together to make the long U sound. It it used at the end of a base word.


*UE can also be a silent ending at the end of a word after the letter g or q (like vague, morgue, unique, etc).

EU (Vowel Team)

EU is a vowel team used within the baseword, usually at the beginning or in the middle.


Graphic listing the 7 ways to spell long u sound with keyword and picture.

Second Sound of Long U: U says /oo/

The second sound of long u sound is clearly different from the first sound because the /y/ part of the long U sound /yoo/ is lost, resulting in the /oo/ sound.

👉 The reason for this? It’s difficult to pronounce the /y/ sound after many consonants, especially L and R.

There are seven ways to spell long U:

  • u like ruler*
  • u-e like tube*
  • ew like stew*
  • ue like glue*
  • oo like balloon
  • ou like soup
  • ui like fruit

👩‍🏫 Although there are many different long vowel spellings, I focus my instruction heavily on the ones we find most frequently in text, marked with an asterisk (*) above.

Below you’ll find each of the seven ways to spell long U along with many common words where the /oo/ sound is clearly heard.

U – Open Syllable

In all 30 words listed below, one of the syllables is open and ends in the letter U. One can clearly hear the /oo/ sound within the word at the end of the open syllable.


U-E (Long U with Silent E)

🧙‍♀️ Many Magic E words include the U-E pattern and and make the long /oo/ sound.

👉 Remember, students should try both sounds /yoo/ and /oo/ when reading these words to listen for which one sounds right. These words have lost the /y/ sound of long U, and the resulting sound is /oo/.


EW (Vowel Team)

This vowel team appears at the end of a base word and says the /oo/ sound in the words below.


UE (Vowel Team)

This vowel team is used only at the end of of base words like glue. Most words ending in UE will have the /oo/ sound, like those found below.


👩‍🏫Teaching Tip: Do not move on to teaching the next 3 spelling patterns until your students have demonstrated a strong command of the four most frequent spellings of long U.

OO (Letter Team)

These two vowels create the special English vowel sound /oo/ heard in the words below. This team can be used in the middle and at the end of words.


*OO can also make the short sound heard in words like book, hood, or soot.

OU (Vowel Team)

OU is not technically a long U vowel sound. (It’s actually considered the long /oo/ sound). But we include it here because it represents the long /oo/ sound, just like the other six spelling patterns found in this section.

The vowel team is often found in the middle of base words like soup, but it can also be found at the end like you. Many of these words are borrowed from French.


UI (Vowel Team)

There are only 15 words in English that include this vowel team. UI is found within the base word in words


FAQ & Helpful Tips

What are the two sounds that long U can say?

Long U says /yoo/ like unicorn, OR it says /oo/ like ruler.

Should I teach both long u sounds at the same time?

There is no need to teach all the sounds of long U at once. Pick and choose words from these lists and use them as your students progress through an aligned scope and sequence. Here is a sample scope and sequence if you are needing one to follow.

Why are some long u spellings on both lists?

Notice that U (open syllable), U-E (Magic E) UE, and EW appear on BOTH lists and can say /yoo/ OR /oo/. You’ll need to teach kids to try both sounds when reading new words (e.g. the word music – mū/sic OR moo/sic).

Related Posts

Corkboard graphic with 2 Long U Worksheets hanging with 213+ Long U Words displayed.

Download & Print

We’d love to hear about your experience with these word lists!
Please leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @literacylearn.

DOWNLOAD TERMS: All of our resources and printables are designed for personal use only in homes and classrooms. Each teacher must download his or her own copy. Please do not save to a shared drive, reproduce our resources on the web, or make photocopies for anyone besides your own students. To share with others, please use the social share links provided or distribute the link to the blog post so others can download their own copies. Your support in this allows us to keep making free resources for everyone! Please see our Creative Credits page for information about the licensed clipart we use. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our terms, please email us. Thank you!


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