This means your mouth should move from one position to another.
- "ow" - cow, brown
- "ou" - about, found
- "ough" (less common) - bough, drought
The sound /ɑ/ is a low, central vowel. The sound /ɑʊ/ starts as /ɑ/, but it moves quickly into a high, back vowel.
You can hear the difference between /ɑʊ/ and /ɑ/ in these words.
2. A. bound, B. bond
3. A. pout, B. pot
4. A. our, B. are
5. A. mouth, B. moth
6. A. tower, B. tar
Now compare /ɑʊ/ with /ow/:
The sound /ow/ is a mid, back vowel. The sound /ɑʊ/ starts as a low, central vowel but moves into a high, back vowel.
You can hear the difference between /ɑʊ/ and /ow/ in these words.
2. A. rouse, B. rose
3. A. couch, B. coach
4. A. bowel, B. bowl
5. A. drown, B. drone
6. A. found, B. phoned
Now, practice /ɑʊ/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentences.
How can you think about food right now?
2. encountered - crowd - outside
We encountered a large crowd outside.
3. scout - down - mountain
The scout led us down the mountain.
4. our - flowers - brown
Our flowers are turning brown.
5. allowed - loud - house
You're not allowed to play loud music in the house.
6. found - couch - lounge
I found him on the couch in the lounge.
To practice with different varieties of English, choose another native English speaker by clicking one of the links below: