Long O Sound
oʊ:(boat, know)

English Pronunciation, Lesson 14

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The long O sound (IPA symbol: ) can be found in English words such as: 
most, vote, road, known, goat, hope, low, no, blow, and wrote.

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

English long O sound
The Long O sounds is a long vowel sound. Long vowel sounds are vowel sounds pronounced the same as the name of the letter. Each vowel has a long vowel sound (Long A, Long E, Long I, Long O, Long U).

In English, long vowel sounds are usually the easiest vowel sounds to learn.

Watch the following video to learn how to pronounce the Long O sound correctly:

(Note that in the video the term "soft palate" will be mentioned.
Soft palate means "the soft part at the back of the top of the mouth".)

Have you watched it? Good! Let's practice...

Common long O spellings

There are five common ways to spell the long O sound:

1. o_e

(o / consonant / silent e)

Say these words out loud (the long O sound is bold):

1) bone

2) smoke

3) phone

4) cone

5) wrote

6) whole

7) vote

8) choke

9) rope

10) home

2. ow

Say these words out loud (the long O sound is bold):

1) throw

2) row

3) blow

4) snow

5) bow

6) know

7) crow

8) glow

9) flow

10) show

3. oa

Say these words out loud (the long O sound is bold):

1) boat

2) moan

3) groan

4) oat

5) loan

6) loaf

7) toad

8) soap

9) oath

10) float

4. o (consonant / o / consonant)

Say these words out loud (the long O sound is bold):

1) hold

2) mold

3) folk

4) bolt

5) both

6) colt

7) fold

8) roll

9) holy

10) stroll

This spelling of the long O sound usually follows the format shown below:

consonant / o / consonant

However, it also includes words that end in O such as:

1) no

2) so

3) ago

4) go

5) zero

6) bingo

7) hello

8) disco

9) video

10) pro

Now say these sentences out loud (the long O sounds are bold):

1) Both of the colts ran home.

2) Throw the ball over the wall.

3) I will show you the video on my phone.

4) No, I will not go home with you.

5) The toad jumped on the road.

7) Hello! Do I know you?

8) Buy a loaf of bread and a bar of soap.

9) His boat will float in the ocean.

10) Please hold the rope.

Have you finished them all? Great job! 

great job

Final note

When some common long O spellings are followed by the letter R, the sound is usually pronounced as the OR sound.

For example:
  • for
  • snore
  • boar
  • core
  • nor
The OR sound will be discussed in a future lesson.

Well done! You have completed the long O sound lesson.

Let's move on...

Your next lesson: Lesson 15, Long A Sound (say, pain, make)

List of Lessons

Lesson 01: International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

Lesson 02: Word Stress and Syllables

Lesson 03: Long E sound (meet, see)

Lesson 04: Short I Sound (sit, hit)

Lesson 05: UH Sound (put, foot)

Lesson 06: OO Sound (moon, blue)

Lesson 07: Short E sound (pen, bed)

Lesson 08: Schwa Sound (the, about)

Lesson 09: UR Sound (turn, learn)

Lesson 10: OH Sound (four, store)

Lesson 11: Short A Sound (cat, fat)

Lesson 12: UH Sound (but, luck)

Lesson 13: Soft A Sound (arm, father)

Lesson 14: Long O Sound (boat, know)

Lesson 15: Long A Sound (say, pain, make)

Lesson 16: Short O Sound (not, off, socks)

Lesson 17: Diphthong (a combination of two vowel sounds)

Lesson 18: P Sound (cup, punch, pull) and B sound (cub, bunch, bull)

Lesson 19: The Nasal Sounds (M, N, NG)

Lesson 20: F Sound (four, lift, graph, tough) and V Sound (love, knives, grave, vine)

Lesson 21: W Sound (wow, quit, where)

Lesson 22: R Sound (red, sorry, write)

Lesson 23: H Sound (he, behind, who)

Lesson 24: T Sound (top, it, later) and D Sound (do, had, made)

Lesson 25: S Sound (sit, box, cats) and Z Sound (zip, buzz, boys)

Lesson 26: K Sound (kid, talk, black) and G Sound (go, big, dog)

Lesson 27: L Sound: Light L & Dark L (tall, like, English)

Lesson 28: Y Consonant Sound (yes, you, beyond)

Lesson 29: CH Sound (China, century, watch) and J Sound (Germany, educate , judge)

Lesson 30: TH Consonant Sounds – voiced TH sound (the, father, them) and voiceless (unvoiced) TH sound (think, birthday, south)

Lesson 31: SH (shop, chef, special) and ZH (usual, massage, Asia)

Lesson 32: T and TT Sounds (true T sound, D sound, stop sound, silent T)

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