‘o’ Pronunciation

Listen to the following words. How many different ways did you hear the spelling ‘o’ pronounced?

hot, wrote, month, who

How is ‘o’ pronounced?

  • The most common pronunciations of ‘o’ are /ɒ/, /əʊ/, /ʌ/ and /u:/.
  • Other pronunciations are possible:
    /ʊ/ in ‘wolf’, /ɪ/ in ‘women’ and /ɔ:/ in ‘port’.
  • Words spelt with ‘ow’ are normally pronounced /əʊ/ or /aʊ/.

/əʊ/ in ‘know’, /aʊ/ in ‘how’.


/ɒ/ top, gone, long, rot, plod, wrong, song, body

/əʊ/ gnome, home, rode, code, post, Yoda, poke

/u:/ womb, tomb, Frome, improve, lose, moving

/ʌ/ done, tonne, glove, above, upfront, won, tongue


What is the pronunciation of ‘o’ in each bold word?

A. Bob proved to Sophie that he hadn’t lost the money, it was stolen.

B. Given the wrong dose, his nose might drop off.

C. I chose Rome for my holiday, it’s perfect for a woman who loves to shop.

D. While in the store, the women in the brown gowns lost their sons.

E. Phone Ronan and let him know that I’ve gone into town.

A. ɒ, u:, əʊ, ɒ, ʌ, əʊ B. ɒ, əʊ, əʊ, ɒ, ɒ C. əʊ, əʊ, ə, ɒ, ʊ, u:, ʌ, ə, ɒ D. ɔ:, ɪ, aʊ, aʊ, ɒ, ʌ E. əʊ, əʊ, əʊ, ɒ, aʊ