From the archives...
The following question was originally posted on the (now discontinued) LOE Forum.
I apologize in advance if I missed this somewhere, but why do 'do' and 'to' have the oo sound? How do you explain that to somebody? It's driving me crazy! --I love LoE Foundations and recommend it to every mom in my various homeschooling communities.
Thanks in advance!
No problem! This is discussed in lesson 66 in Foundations B, and again in 106 (in Foundations C).
O has three sounds: /ŏ/, /ō/, and /ö/.
The spelling rule is "A, E, O, U usually say their long sounds at the end of the syllable" (Rule 4). In these words, the O at the end of the syllable says its broad sound instead. This is a less common but standard English spelling, which is why this rule is worded the way it is: usually.
The phonogram O doesn't say its broad sound /ö/ in very many base words, but it can be heard in any of the same places where O might say its long sound: At the end of a syllable (do, to), with a silent E (move, prove), and before two consonants (womb, tomb).
I hope this helps!