I take it you already know
Of tough and bought and cough and dough.
Others may stumble but not you,
On thorough, plough, enough and though
Well done! And now you wish perhaps
To learn of less familiar traps.

Beware of heard: a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead: it’s said like bed not dead
For goodness sake don’t call it deed.
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt)

And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear, for bear and pear.
And then there is dose and rose and lose
Just look them up-and goose and choose
And cork and work and card and ward
And font and front and word and sword
And do and go, then thwart and cart,
Come, come! I’ve hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Why man alive!
I’d mastered it when I was five.
And yet to write, the more Í ‘tried,
I had not learned at fifty-five.

LIZ and John Soars, New Headway Advanced Student’s Book,
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

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