Phoneme /ɒ/ in Received Pronunciation
Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /ɒ/ include the following:
- with "o": across* - along* - body - box - cost* - economic - follow - gone* - got - holiday - hot - involve - job - long* - lot - model - off* - offer* - office* - often* - policy - possible - probably - problem - product - project - shop - song* - stop - strong* - top - wrong*
- with "a": qualify - quality - quantity - restaurant - wad - wallet - wander - want - wash - wasp - watch - what
- with "au": Aussie* - austerity* - Australia* - Austria* - because* - cauliflower*
*: These words are pronounced with /ɔː/ in General American.
- cough /kɒf/*
- knowledge /ˈnɒlɪdʒ/
- knot - not
- with "o": borrow - foreign - horror - orange - sorrow - sorry - tomorrow
- with "a": warrant - warranty
Less common words
- with "o": Congo, connoisseur /ˌkɒnəˈsɜːr/, Honduras, Morocco
- with "e": entrepreneur /ˌɒntrəprəˈnɜːr/
Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1
Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following sections aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.
While /ɒ/ is very similar to the Spanish letter "o", it is actually slightly shorter, and most Spanish speakers pronounce it pretty well. However, it's useful to point out the difference between this short vowel sound and a sound which is particularly difficult for many Spanish speakers: /əʊ/, as in "slow". Practice may be needed to distinguish between words like "want" and "won't".