how to pronounce w sound

This pronunciation lesson is designed for 3-6-year-old children to help them pronounce the letter ‘w’ using its phonic sound.

Learning phonic sounds is important for children as this helps them read faster and more fluently. This is the first step in learning spelling and vocabulary.

In our previous video lesson, we learned about phonics, the importance of learning phonics, and the phonic sound of the letter ‘w’. This video lesson is on the 23rd in a row of learning the sound of letters. 

How Do Phonics Give Head Start to Learning the Language?

The role of phonetics in learning to read is one of the best-studied aspects of education. Teaching the children how to read and write using phonics is the first step. The idea that alphabets have distinct sounds is introduced to children through phonics, which also demonstrates the relationship between the sounds that various letters create. Understanding phonics enables students to sound out words as they read, which accelerates their learning of both reading and writing.

An in-depth knowledge of the sounds behind letters makes it easier to read and write. Improving your child’s awareness of phonics will help them to decode unknown vocabulary they encounter when reading. Phonics is a fundamental skill while children are learning the English language. Read more about it in the article “Is Phonics the best way to learn phonics”.

How to Pronounce the Letter w Sound? 

The letter w is a consonant, and the sound produced is voiced. It means that when you make the sound, your vocal cords vibrate. 

To correctly pronounce the w sound, form your lips into a small o shape, like a circle. Hold the lips so that they do not touch and move your lips and mouth further apart while making that noise. 

Here are some words to help you hear what it should sound like: when, what, water, went, wolf, wipe, etc.

The W sound is similar to the vowel ‘oo sound’ /u/, but the lips are slightly more closed when producing the /w/ sound. Also, being a consonant sound, it cannot create a syllable as a vowel sound can. Do remember, in order to make the sound, your jaw should be mostly closed, but your teeth shouldn’t touch. 

The W sound can be pronounced in three ways: w, wh, and q. Let us understand each one of them. 

  1. When the letter w produces /w/ sound: The most common way to spell the w sound is with a W. It can be at the beginning, middle, or end of a word. For example, wow, flower, woman, sweet, etc.
  2. When the letter w produces /wh/ sound: In some cases, the letter w produces the wh sound when h comes after w. For example, why, where, when, white, etc. But when ‘wh’ is preceded by oo sound or long o sound, then instead of the w sound h sound is produced. For example, who, whom, whole, etc.
  3. When the letter w produces a Qu or kw sound: The Qu spelling produces a sound of K sound followed by a W sound. For example, quit, queen, quick, quilt, etc.

Other words that don’t apply the above rules, but produce the w sound are One and Choir.

How to Introduce the Pronunciation of the ‘w’ to the Child?

  1. Invite the child to the table and tell them, today we are going to learn the sound of the letter ‘w’ produces.
  2. Show the child what the letter ‘w’ looks like and the sound of the letter ‘w’.
  3. Say it several times by producing the /vuh/ sound.
  4. Ask the child to repeat the sound after you.
  5. Show the child a picture or miniature of words starting with ‘w’ such as wool. 
  6. Repeat the sound of the letter w every time while showing the image of the wool. 
  7. Now show another picture and again produce the letter ‘w’ sound.
  8. Invite the child to pronounce the letter ‘w’ while looking at the pictures.

List of Activities to Introduce the Letter w Sound to the Child

  1. Watermelon Fun – Let children eat watermelon. Have them remove the seeds on a paper towel and show them how to wash them off. Stick it on the “W” made of cardboard or paper. 
  2. Whiskers – During Halloween time, give the children lots of chenille (“pipe cleaner”) objects, googly eyes, and other imaginative trinkets. Tell them to make anything with pets/monsters/whiskers, using ‘W’ as you like.
  3. Washing- Invite the child to wash clothes, table, objects, plant leaves, etc, and sing a rhyme w..w…wash, wash, wash your clothes and let the germs out of the house.
  4. Worm –  For the body of the worm, use green or yellow construction paper cut into a “W”. Keep children occupied with finger painting, trinkets, and more. You can also hide the worms in green grass (green art paper with fringes)! Cut a piece of tissue paper about 1 inch by 20 inches long. Glue the strips to the back of the drawing and let the strips hang and move. Roll up the paper and staple it. Add a thread hanger to the top and hang the windsock in the room. When you open the window and the wind blows, the windsock moves with the breeze. 

Remember that each time the child is occupied with some activity they should keep pronouncing the sound of w- /vuh/

This video allows the child to explore the short consonant sound of the English letter ‘W’ and learn words starting with it, such as wardrobe, whale, and whisk. The sounds are repeated for each word so that the child can hear and pronounce the letter accurately.

Related Pronunciation Videos:

  1. Pronunciation of the letter ‘j’
  2. Pronunciation of the letter ‘m’
  3. Pronunciation of the letter ‘q’
  4. Pronunciation of the letter ‘s’

For more pronunciation and English language resources, click here

Video created by: Strykun Olena


  • How do you form the w sound?

To form the “w” sound, you need to round your lips and blow air out of your mouth while making a voiced “oo” sound. It is a voiced labio-velar approximant sound.

  • Why is w called Double U?

The letter “w” is called double U because it looks like two U’s (or V’s) placed together. The name of the letter evolved from the Old French “double V” to the Middle English “double u” and finally to its current form, “double U,” in Modern English.

  • What type of phonetic is w?

The phonetic symbol for the sound made by the letter “w” is /w/. It is called a voiced labio-velar approximation in the International phonetic alphabet, which means that it is produced by rounding the lips and creating a narrowing in the vocal tract with the back of the tongue raised towards the soft palate.

  • Is the w in two a vowel?

The letter “w” is typically a consonant, but it can act as a vowel when it combines with an “a,” “e,” or “o” to form a single sound, such as in the words “draw,” “few,” and “low.” Therefore, the letter “w” is only considered a vowel when it is part of the two-letter combinations “aw,” “ew,” and “ow.”


  • alphabet letters
  • english language
  • primary level
  • pronunciation