As an example, きょう is read as "kyoo", despite the last kana being usually read as "u".

Why and when does this happen?

  • 1
    Almost 'ou' are read 'oo'.You need learn ウ音便. Feb 24 '16 at 12:55

In most cases う after お、こ、そ、と、の、ほ、も、よ、ろ makes "o" sound longer.

For example: こうえん(kōen)、きょう (kyō)

There are some cases in which お is used to make "o" longer.

For example: おおきい (ōkii)、とおい (tōi)

There are also cases in which う is a suffix and read as う。

For example: おもう(omou、[思う]{おもう})

Learn more about long vowels.

P.S.: ō is for long "o", same as "oo".


You can read おう as おお beside おう for the purpose of convenience of pronunciation unless it's combination of お included in a verb stem and suffix う (e.g. おう as in 追う、おもう as in 思う etc.), or it bridges components of a word compound (e.g. いご-うち: 囲碁打ち).

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