Pronunciation exercises: /ɑː/ vs /ɔː/

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ɔː

thought /θɔːt/

ɑː

lot /lɑːt/

/ɒ/ [ɑː]AmE and /ɔː/ are merged by many native speakers. See Cot-caught merger. However, to have a good accent in General American it is best to be able to make the difference. The sequences /ɒr/ [ɑːr]AmE and /ɔːr/ [or]AmE are not studied in this article. See Pronunciation exercises: /ɒrV/ vs /ɔːrV/.

Note that in American English /ɑː/ and /ɒ/ sound the same. In the rest of this article we will use /ɑː/.

/ɔː/[edit]

Some common words containing /ɔː/ include the following:

  • with "oa": abroad - broad
  • with "ough": bought - brought - fought - ought - thought;
  • with "ong": long - song - strong - wrong;
  • with "a": water;
  • with "al": almost - already - alter - always - chalk - false - salt - talk - walk;
  • with "all": ball - call - fall - hall - mall - small - talk - walk - wall;
  • with "aw": dawn - hawk - lawn - shawl - yawn;
  • with "au": auction - August - author - autumn - caught - cause - clause - daughter - fault - launch - taught;
  • others: gone - want

/ɑː/[edit]

  • with "o": body - doll - economic - follow - hot - involve - job - lot - model - policy - possible - probably - problem - product - project - shop - stop - top
  • with "a": father - quality - watch
  • others: knowledge

Either /ɑː/ or /ɔː/[edit]

Many words are pronounced with /ɑː/ by some people and with /ɔː/ by others, even in areas where "cot" and "cought" are pronounced differently.

  • with "o": chocolate - golf - off - on
  • with "a": want

See also Phoneme /ɔː/ in General American § /ɔː/, /ɑː/ or /ɒ/.

/ɑː/ vs /ɔː/[edit]

There are very few minimal pairs. The most famous of them is cot-caught. Many Americans pronounce identically these two phonemes,[1] and comprehension is not affected. See Cot-caught merger.

  • cot - caught; Don - Dawn; stock - stalk;

Spanish L1[edit]

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