Pronunciation exercises: "of" vs "off"
Many students believe the words "of" and "off" are pronounced the same. However "of" ends in /v/ and "off" ends in /f/.
Received Pronunciation[edit | edit source]
As in most cases, to go from a strong form to a weak form the vowel is replaced by /ə/.
General American[edit | edit source]
In General American the strong form of "of" is (probably) derived from the weak form. That’s why its strong form is /ʌv/.
The word "off" is pronounced /ɔːf/ with the same vowel as many other words such as "cloth" and "long". See Phoneme /ɔː/ in General American.
Summary[edit | edit source]
Arrows indicate the direction of the derivation.
Homophones[edit | edit source]
The weak forms of "of" and "have" are the same: /əv/.
The words /ˈkʊd əv/ are correctly spelled "could’ve", but a confused writer may spell * because the pronunciation is the same. The same happens with other contractions such as "should’ve", "would’ve", etc.
/v/ devoicing[edit | edit source]
- “of course” can be pronounced /əv kɔːrs/ or /əf kɔːrs/