Start here
Get ready to learn: vowels
Get ready to learn: consonants
Lesson 9 - Nasal sounds

ɜː (NURSE)

This is a really difficult sound for lots of learners and isn’t helped by the very inconsistent spelling.

Words in this lexical set include “bird”, “circle”, “heard. The full word list and sentences are below and in the final video.

Video 1: how to create the sound

Video 2: individual words with the NURSE vowel

Video 3: sentences with NURSE

hurt, lurk, church, turf, purse, curb, curd, urge, curve, turn, curl, spur, occurred, burnt, burst, murder, further, usurp
shirt, irk, birch, birth, bird, firm, girl, fir, stirred, first, circus, virtue,…;
assert, perch, serf, berth, terse, verb, erg, emerge, nerve, term, stern, deter, err, preferred, certain, person, immersion, emergency, kernel,
earth, dearth, hearse, rehearse, search, heard, earn, yearn, earl, pearl, rehearsal, early, earnest;
work, worth, worse, word, worm, worst, worthy;
scourge, adjourn, courteous, journal, journalist, journey;
attorney, colonel, liqueur, masseur, connoisseur.

  1. I first heard the circus across the fields.
  2. Hurting my girlfriend was the worst thing I’ve ever done.
  3. The rehearsal was adjourned after the lead actor forgot his words.
  4. The early bird catches the worm.
  5. I yearn for an undisturbed day with my favourite person.