Pronunciation exercises: /ɑː/ vs /ɔː/
/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/.
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
- 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/
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
/ɑː/ vs /ɔː/
- cot - caught; Don - Dawn; stock - stalk;
- Lost States, Say "Don." Say "Dawn." Now I know where you live, April 2011.