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UE (cue) Sound Word List

By Rodney Everson

The /ue/ sound, often called the long-u sound, is one of five sounds that are named by the name of a single vowel letter. The letters are a, e, i, o, and u. This class of vowel sounds has many spelling options. In the case of the /ue/ sound, there are only four spellings, and none are all that common in one-syllable words.

Of the 7,000 words in the database constructed from a popular children’s dictionary, 21 of them are one-syllable words in which the vowel sound is /ue/. The various spellings of the /ue/ sound are "ue", "u-e", "u", and "ew".

None of the /ue/ spellings are commonly seen in one-syllable words but, as noted on the list page, young readers should be taught to try the /ue/ sound first when encountering the /ue/ spellings. That is because the more likely sound of those spellings is the /oo/ sound, and it is relatively easy to make the oral shift from /ue/ to /oo/, so they will usually end up at the correct sound. Going the other way, from /oo/ to /ue/, is a more difficult transition. This is a handy list of words to choose from when making that point.

Also, the "u" spelling of the /ue/ sound occurs in one-syllable words like cued or fused where the "ed" ending should be treated as a digraph for the /d/ or /t/ sound, leaving only the letter "u" to represent the /ue/ sound.

Otr wordlists cover digital

Comprehensive Word Lists

Features over 100 word lists built from 7,000 words input from a children's dictionary. Lists are organized by vowel and consonant sounds and cover most common spellings. Useful in the classroom for building curriculum aids such as short stories that emphasize specific sounds and spellings. Multisyllable words are also included, chunked according to the method taught in the OnTrack Reading Advanced Code Phonics Workbook.