Pronunciation exercises: /ɒ/ vs /ɔː/

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ɔː

thought /θɔːt/

ɒ

hot /hɒt/

/ɒ/ and /ɔː/ can be easily confused. Moreover there are many native speakers who don't make a difference. See Cot-caught merger. However, to have a good accent in Received Pronunciation it is best to be able to make the difference.

/ɔː/[edit]

Some common words containing /ɔː/ include the following:

  • with "oa": abroad - broad
  • with "ough": bought - brought - fought - ought - thought
  • 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
  • with "or": afford - born - cork - fork - horse - lord - pork - short - storm - sword
  • with "oar": board
  • with "our": court
  • with "ar": quarter - warm - warn

Words ending in /ɔː/ or /ɔːr/. These words can't be confused, because /ɒ/ can't appear in this environment-

  • with "aw": law, raw, saw
  • with "our": four, pour

Homophones

bored - board;
BE: court - caught; stork - stalk.
/ɔːrV/

V is any vowel.

  • boring - choral - glory - Laura - storage - story

/ɒ/[edit]

  • with "o": doll - golf - hot - lot - off - on - stop - top;
  • with "ong": long - song - strong - wrong;
  • others: gone - knowledge - want - what.
/ɒrV/

V is any vowel.

  • with "o": borrow - foreign - horror - orange - sorrow - sorry - tomorrow
  • with "a": warrant - warranty

/ɒ/ 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
  • coral - choral
  • often - orphan: /ɒ/ vs /ɔː/ in Received Pronunciation. /ɔː/ vs /ɔːr/ in General American. And at both sides of the Atlantic the "t" of "often" may be pronounced.

Spanish L1[edit]

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