Decoding exercises: "orV" and "orrV"

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IPA vowels
æ ɑː
trap father - start
e
dress face square
ɪ ɪə
kit fleece near
ɒ əʊ ɔː
lot goat taught
ʊ ʊə
foot goose mature
juː jʊə
cute cure
ʌ ə ɜː
strut comma nurse
ɔɪ
price mouth choice
IPA consonants
Normal sound: /b, d, f, g, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, z/
 ʃ  ŋ
show church sing
ʒ  j 
usual judge you
θ ð s
think that see
IPA Stress
ˈ Primary stress
hotel /həʊˈtel/
ˌ Secondary stress
understand
/ˌʌndərˈstænd/
IPA Syllabification
. nitrate /ˈnaɪ.treɪt/, night-rate /ˈnaɪt.reɪt/

The letter O in the sequences "orV" and "orrV" where V is any vowel, normally sounds /ɒ/ in Received Pronunciation (as in orange) but in some cases it sounds /ɔː/ (as in story) or /ə/ when unstressed (as in category). It also can be silent as in history.

In General American /ɒr/BrE sounds /ɑːr/ in only 5 words and it sounds /ɔːr/ in the rest.[1]

In regional Atlantic American English /ɒr/BrE sounds /ɑːr/, as in orange pronounced /ˈɑːrɪndʒ/.[1]

Distinctions by dialect[edit]

Dialect sorry forest glory
Received Pronunciation [ɒ] [ɒ] [ɔː]
Atlantic American English [ɑː] [ɑː] [ɔː]
General American [ɑː] [ɔː] [ɔː]
Canada [ɔː] [ɔː] [ɔː]

Common words[edit]

  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɔː/AmE: correspond - foreign - forest - historical - majority - moral - orange - origin - priority
  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɑː/AmE: borrow - sorry - tomorrow
  • As /ɔː/: boring - explorer - moreover - story
  • As /ə/: contemporary /kənˈtemprəriː,BrE kənˈtempərəriː/ - corporate - corporation - correct - exploration - factory - /ˈfæktəriː, fæktriː/ - history /ˈhɪstəriː, ˈhɪstriː/ - ignorant - memory - original - temporary /ˈtempərəriː, ˈtemprəriː/- terrorist - theory - victory
  • As /ʌ/ or /ɜː/: thorough /ˈθʌrə,BrE ˈθɜːroʊAmE/ - worry /ˈwʌriː,BrE ˈwɜːriːAmE/

Less common words[edit]

  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɔː/AmE: categorical - coral - historic - horrible - horror - laboratory /ləˈbɒrətriː,BrE ˈlæbrətɔːriːAmE/ - minority - seniority
  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɑː/AmE: morrow (shortening of "tomorrow") - sorrow
  • As /ɔː/: chlorine - choral - glory - historian - laboratory /ləˈbɒrətriː,BrE ˈlæbrətɔːriAmE/ - memorial - notorious - storage
  • As /ə/BrE or /ɔː/AmE: category - mandatory - territory /ˈterɪtəriː,BrE ˈterɪtriː,BrE ˈterətɔːriːAmE/
  • As /ə/: compulsory - forever - herbivorous

Proper nouns[edit]

  • As /ɒ/,BrE /ɔː/AmE: Boris, Dorothy, Florence, Forida, Oregon
  • As /ɔː/: Dora
  • As /ə/: Colorado, Deborah /ˈdebərə, ˈdebrə/, Korea, Morocco

Spelling rule[edit]

The sequence "orr" is pronounced /ɔː/ in Received Pronunciation only in verbs ending in "or". There is only one such a verb that appears in normal dictionaries:

  • from abhor: abhorred, abhorring

Note that "abhorrent" /əbˈhɒrənt/ is an adjective, not a verb.

Table "or" and "orr"[edit]

"or" "orr"
/ɒr/BrE /ɔːr/AmE allegorical, authority, categorical, choreography, coral, coronary, Dorothy, Florence, florist, Forida, foreign, forest, historic, historical, horizontal, horoscope, inferiority, laboratory,BrE majority, minority, moral, oracle, orange, orator, Oregon, orifice, origin, priority, rhetorical, seniority, superiority abhorrent, correlation, correspond, corridor, horrible, horror, porridge, torrent, torrid
/ɒr/BrE /ɑːr/AmE N/A borrow, morrow, sorrow, sorry, tomorrow
/ɔːr/ adorable, auditorium, boring, chlorine, choral, chorus, Dora, deplorable, Ecuadorian, editorial, euphoria, explorer, forum, glory, historian, laboratory,AmE laborious, memorial, moreover, moron, notorious, oral, oriental, porous, sanatorium, storage, story "orr" only sounds /ɔːr/ in -ing forms

These words don't rhyme[edit]

References[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]