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Vowels you and oo

Special thanks to Luke Silva for funding this lesson.

This lesson covers how you write the vowel sounds in "pure" and "poor".

A Note On Phonetics

Plover Theory is not strictly phonetic in the boundary between "you" and "oo". Phonologists or anyone familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) will see that Plover is not very strict with its vowel boundaries in general. This is because there are 20 vowels in English, but only 14 vowel combinations possible in Plover. Because of that, the boundary between "YOU" and "OO" is mainly one of spelling.

Vowel you

The "you" vowel is made with the outline AOU.


  • TKAOU: due
  • AOUS, AOUZ: use
  • TAOUB: tube
  • TRAOU: true
  • PAOUR: pure
  • RAOUL: rule
  • SKAOU: skew
  • STAOU: stew
  • PWHRAOU: blew
  • SRAOU: view
  • STAOUPD: stupid
  • TKAOUD: dude
  • TAOUPL: tomb
  • HRAOUBG: Luke
  • KRAOUS: cruise
  • KRAOUZ: crews
  • KRAOUL: cruel
  • TKAOURG: during
  • PRAOUPB: prune
  • KWAOU: queue

Words spelled with "oo"

When there is a word spelled with "oo", you stroke it with AO.


  • TAO: too
  • TKPWAOD: good
  • HRAOBG: look
  • PHAO: moo
  • PWAOPL: boom
  • TAOPB: toon
  • TKRAOL: drool
  • KAOL: cool
  • STAOL: stool
  • SKAOL: school
  • PHAOR: Moore
  • AOF: oof

Words spelled with "oa"

We also use the AO combination to write out words that have the vowels "oa" like "load". This helps us resolve homophones:

  • LOEPB: lone
    • LAOPB: loan
  • TKPWROEPB: grown
    • TKPWRAOPB: groan
  • TOED: today (brief)
    • TAOD: toad
  • SOR: sore, SOER: sorry (brief)
    • SAOR: soar
  • PWORD: bored, PWOERD: bothered
    • PWAORD: board
  • ROED: rode
    • RAOD: road
  • OER: other, O*ER: ore
    • AOR: oar

But this combination is also used for "oa" words even when there are no homophones:


Finally, this chord can be used if you ever have an "ao" vowel, but these are not very common in English. The only single-syllable examples I have are names which have the asterisk as they conflict with "too" and "moo":

  • TAO*: Tao
  • PHAO*: Mao


Chord Translation Notes
TPHAO into To remember this brief, it might help to sound it out as "noo" or "in-oo"
TWO two Using spelling to avoid conflict with "to" and "too"
PWHRU blue
PWAOUT beauty
STAOUPBT student
TRAOUL truly
TAOUL or TWAUL actual Think "tule" or "twall"
THRAOUL or TWAEUL actually Think "tlule" or "twail"
URPBD understand
URPBGD understanding
PHRAR particular
PHRARL particularly
KAOUFS confuse
KAOUFG confusing
KAOUFD confused


1. Translate

Write the English sentence represented by these outlines, including punctuation.

2. Find Outlines

Find steno outlines that will write these English sentences, including punctuation.

  1. He is beautiful. What, in particular, do you think is so beautiful about him?
  2. I am confused by pretty much everything but particularly how you expect us to work this out together.
  3. Do you understand what the stakes are? Are you actually understanding what this could do to us?
  4. My mother is a big fan of blue, but I prefer red. My dad is all about purple and my sister loves black.
  5. I am so glad to have two lovely kids that love me. They rule!
  6. I think we should not go into the cave before mom gets here.
  7. If you had bothered to show up to school you'd know about the quiz today!
  8. I am the lone student that had to take out a loan.
  9. This is confusing, I am not understanding anything you are saying.
  10. Dude, that is pure stupid. What are you doing?

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