The әʊ sound (/əʊ/ Phoneme)

This is the әʊ sound, as in the words:

  • go /gәʊ/
  • know /nәʊ/
  • so /sәʊ/

/əʊ/ is a diphthong sound which means it is a combination of two vowel sounds that are pronounced within the same syllable.

The әʊ sound is a combination of /ә/ and /ʊ/ or /u:/. Like vowels the diphthongs are all made through the mouth and are voiced which means that you vibrate your vocal chords to make the sound.

Unlike with vowels and consonants, when you pronounce a diphthong sound, your mouth will change position and shape as you say the sound, because they combine two vowel sounds.
So as you say the /әʊ/ sound your mouth will start on the position of the /ə/ sound and then close a little and become more rounded as you finish on the position of the /ʊ/ or /u:/ sound.

How the әʊ sound is spelled

One of the most difficult things about learning English is the spelling. This is because spelling is often not phonetic especially the vowels and diphthongs. So you will find the /әʊ/ sound spelled many different ways. But it is often spelled with the letters “o”, as in the words:

  • no /nәʊ/
  • those /ðәʊz/
  • own /әʊn/
  • though /ðәʊ/

Here are some words that start with the әʊ sound.

  • open /’əʊnli/
  • only /’əʊnli/
  • over /’әʊvә/
  • old /əʊld/

Here are some words with the әʊ sound in the middle.

  • most /mәʊst/
  • program /’prәʊgræm/
  • hold /hәʊld/
  • home /hәʊm/

Here are some words with the әʊ sound at the end.

  • also /’ɔːlsәʊ/
  • show /ʆәʊ/
  • ago /әˈgәʊ/
  • follow /ˈfɒlәʊ/

One Response to “The әʊ sound (/əʊ/ Phoneme)”

  1. Ali May 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Sounds sound sound … !!!

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