- "o" - both, phone
- "oa" - coat, toast
- "ow" - bowl, flow
- "oe" - toe, goes
- "ough" - although, dough
- "ou" - soul, shoulder
These are both mid, back, rounded vowels. However, /ow/ is a tense vowel and /ɔ/ is a lax vowel, When you pronounce /ow/, your tongue should be tightened.
You can hear the difference between /ow/ and /ɔ/ in these words.
Now, compare /ow/ and /uw/:
These are both back, tense, rounded vowels. However, /ow/ is a mid vowel, and /uw/ is a high vowel. When you pronounce /ow/, your tongue should be in the middle of your mouth, not raised.
You can hear the difference between /ow/ and /uw/ in these words.
Now, practice /ow/ in sentences:
I hope my mom won't notice the mess.
2. coal - old - stoves
Coal was once used in old stoves.
3. okay - show - photos
Is it okay if I show my brother your photos?
4. drove - slowly - potholes
I drove slowly to avoid potholes.
5. potatoes - bowl - lower
The potatoes are in the bowl on the lower shelf.
6. slow - growth - voter
There has been a slow growth in voter turnout.
To practice with different varieties of English, choose another native English speaker by clicking one of the links below: