Sound

English Pronunciation

Vowels: aw sound /ɔ/

Listen to the aw sound

ESL/ELL/EFL aw /ɔ/ vowel sound pronunciation | Pronuncian.com

aw sound illustration

How to pronounce the aw sound

The entire tongue is pushed back and kept low during the pronunciation of the aw sound. The bottom side teeth can be felt alongside the front of the tongue during the sound. The back of the tongue has only a slight rounding upward at the very rear of the mouth. The lips are made into an oval shape, and may stick slightly outward.

The North American aw sound is one of the sounds with the greatest variation in pronunciation even within the continent. Some regions of the United States do not consider this to be a different sound from the short o. However, in many regions of the country it is a unique sound; therefore it is described separately.


Common aw sound spellings

spelling example   other pronunciations for spelling
aw law
awful
drawn


none
-o- (CVC)[1] dog
lost
soft


short o (top)
long o (most)
au caution
haunt
author


none
augh caught
daughter
taught


none
ough(+t)[2] brought
thought
fought


none
(w+)a[3] want
wash
watch


none

[1] o spelling followed by the letter r
When the consonant following the letter o is the letter r (as in the words for and order), the sound is usually pronounced as the or sound. If the or spelling occurs on an unstressed syllable (as in the words honor and factor), a schwa+r pronunciation is also possible.

[2] ough(+t) spelling
The ough spelling is pronounced with the aw sound when it is followed by the letter t. There are no pronunciation patterns when ough occurs at the end of a word. For example, the words enough, through, and though each have different pronunciations for the ough spelling.

[3] (w+)a spelling
The letter a is often pronounced as the aw sound when it occurs between the letter w and a consonant. Exceptions to this pattern include the words wax, waste, and wagon.


The aw sound in suffixes

none

Non-phonetic aw sound words

The aw sound is underlined in the following words:
gone
talk
walk
almost





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Exercises

short a/short o/aw sound Minimal Sets

aw sound, short o, short u min set, cont

Quizzes

short u/short o/aw sound quiz

short a/short o/aw sound quiz

Sound Practice

other aw

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