Note: In many American dialects, /ɔ/ and /ɑ/ are treated as the same sound.
- "o" - gone, follow
- "augh" - caught, daughter
- "ough" - bought, thought
- "aw" - saw, lawyer
- "a" - always, false,
- "oa" - abroad, broad
- "au" - August, author
These are both low, tense vowels. However, /ɔ/ is a back, rounded vowel and /ɑ/ is a central, unrounded vowel. When you pronounce /ɔ/, your lips should form a circle.
Note: Many American English speakers do not distinguish between these two vowels.
Now compare /ɔ/ and /ow/:
These are both back, tense, rounded vowels. However, /ɔ/ is a low vowel and /ow/ is a mid vowel. When you pronounce /ɔ/, your tongue should be low in your mouth.
You can hear the difference between /ɔ/ and /ow/ in these words.
Now practice /ɔ/ in sentences:
We talked until almost dawn.
2. always - abroad - autumn
I always go abroad in the autumn.
3. bought - orange - mall
I bought an orange sweater at the mall.
4. called - walking - door
He called me as he was walking out the door.
5. daughter - story - morning
I told your daughter that story this morning.
6. score - already - lost
Based on our score, I think we already lost the game.
To practice with different varieties of English, choose another native English speaker by clicking one of the links below. (Note: Because of regional variation, some speakers may use /ɑ/ instead of /ɔ/ in some words.)