Are vs Our vs Hour

What is the difference?

The words are, our, and hour are confusing for many students. Depending on your accent and where you live, all three words might be pronounced the same or two of them might be pronounced the same. However, they all have different meanings. 

In this lesson, you will learn how to pronounce and use these words correctly to improve your speaking and writing.

There are many pairs of confusing words in English. Some words sound the same. They are called homophones. Some words have similar meanings. They are called synonyms. These types of words can be confusing.

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Some English speakers pronounce our and are the same, like this: "Arrr".

Other English speakers pronounce our and hour the same: "Oww-er".

And some English speakers might pronounce all three words the same!

That can be confusing! 

According to the dictionary, our and hour are pronounced in almost the same way. So, let's learn about these two words first.


Our is an adjective. It is the possessive form of we.

According to the dictionary, our should be pronounced like "oww-er". But don't be surprised to hear it pronounced like "arrr". In American English, it is usually acceptable to say it either way.

Now let's look at the definition of our:

relating or belonging to us

made or done by us


  • He is our son. family

  • We sold our blue car.

  • Our teacher is nice.

  • She is our dog.
The possessive pronoun form of our is ours

  • The boy with red hair is ours.

  • The blue car was ours.

  • The nice teacher is ours.

  • The brown dog is ours.


Hour is a noun. An hour is an amount of time. One hour equals 60 minutes.

The plural form of hour is hours. There are 24 hours in one day. 


Hour is pronounced like "oww-er". The h is silent in hour. That means you do not voice the h sound.  


  • I will meet you at the bus stop in one hour.

  • How many hours will it take to drive to San Diego, California from Las Vegas, Nevada?

  • The new job pays $12 an hour

  • She arrived three hours late. 

  • It will take 2 hours and 30 minutes to finish the job.


Are is a form of the English verb "to be". Are is used in the English simple present tense with the pronouns you, we, and they.

In most accents, are is pronounced like "arrr". That is the correct way to pronounce are.

  • Are you hungry?

  • You are my favorite cook.

  • Are we going to the picnic?

  • We are going to the picnic now. 

  • Are those your boys?

  • Those boys are mine.

  • Are they related to you?

  • They are my brothers.

You can also use are to make contractions.

  • You're my favorite cook. (you + are)

  • They're my brothers. (they + are)

  • We're going to the picnic on Saturday. (we + are)

  • They're mine. (they + are)

Great job! You have finished this lesson. You can learn about other confusing words in English here: Confusing Words and Some Common English Mistakes.

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