Vowels 3 and 20, /e/ versus /ʊə/    11 pairs      [leslures.html]

The /e/ vowel is spelled <e> throughout. The diphthong /ʊə/ is spelled <our>, <oor> or <ur> in jury. The pair congress/congruous is of doubtful status since congruous would normally be perceived as a three-syllable word in which /ʊə/ is two vowels and not a diphthong. This dictionary gives /bʊən/ as the preferred pronunciation of bourne, though another common pronunciation is /bɔn/.

This is a contrast bewteen a short front vowel and a back centring diphthong, and is no rpblem for any learner.

The mean density is low at 0.2%. The pairs make 9 semantic contrasts, giving a high loading of 82%.

ben bourn
  bens bournes
Bess bourse
congress congruous
Delhi dourly
jerry jury
  jerries juries
lead lured
Les lures
Med moored
Ted toured

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, January 2011
updated Chiang Mai, 2024