Short O Sound
ɔ:(not, off, socks)

English Pronunciation, Lesson 16

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The short O sound (IPA symbol: ɔ) can be found in American English words such as: dog, log, socks, off, on, top, and pot.

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

In American English, the short O sound is pronounced as a lax mid-back rounded vowel. It is the same as the soft A sound that you hear in "jaw" and "father." 

This sound is not as common in British English. They use a slightly different sound. In British English, words like "dog" are pronounced as low back rounded vowels with the IPA symbol ɒ.

English short O sound

In English, short vowel sounds are more difficult to learn than long vowel sounds. Take time to form the sound correctly. Listen to many different examples by native English speakers.

Now watch this short video to review all short vowel sounds:

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

Short O words

Short O at the beginning of a word:

Sometimes, the short O sound comes at the beginning of a word. Practice saying these words that begin with the short O sound. (The short O sound is in bold.)

1) off

2) on

3) onto

4) octopus

5) otter

6) October

7) olive

Short O in the middle of a word:

Most of the time, the short O sound comes in the middle of a word. Practice saying these words that have a short O in the middle. (The short O sound is in bold.)

1) got

2) pot

3) top

4) pop

5) hot

6) rot

7) crop

8) lot

9) cop

10) job

11) frog

12) sock

13) robin

14) mop

15) moth

16) doll

17) dolphin

18) stop

19) rob

20) drop

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

1) Stop! Drop a lot on top!

2) The robin flew off. 

3) The moth landed on the hot bulb.

4) The dolphin swam away in October.

5) He has a job as a cop.

7) Tom got a lot of socks.

8) The frog hopped on the top.

9) The octopus stopped over there.

10) I like olives a lot!

11) Bob got onto the bicycle.

12) The dogs and otters were playing.

13) Stop! Look both ways before you cross the street!

14) I will crop the picture on top.

15) She made hair for the doll from a mop.

17) Turn the lights on and off.

18) The mop was a prop for the movie.

19) I got a dog!

20) He got off the bus on my street.

Have you finished them all? Great job! 

Well done! You have completed the short O lesson.

Let's move on...

Your next lesson: Lesson 17, Diphthong (a combination of two vowel sounds)

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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