This is the aʊ sound, as in the words:
- about /әbaʊt/
- out /aʊt/
- ground /graʊnd/
/aʊ/ is a diphthong sound which means it is a combination of two vowel sounds that are pronounced within the same syllable.
The aʊ sound is a combination of /æ/ 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 /aʊ/ sound your mouth will start on the position of the /æ/ sound and then allow your mouth and lips to close as you finish on the position of the /ʊ/ or /u:/ sound.
How the aʊ 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 aʊ sound spelled many different ways. But it is often spelled with the letters “o” or “o-u”, as in the words:
- town /taʊn/
- down /daʊn/
- our /aʊə/
- without /wɪð’aʊt/
Here are some words with the aʊ sound in the middle.
- house /haʊs/
- around /әˈraʊnd/
- power /ˈpaʊә/
- however /haʊˈevә/
Here are some words with the aʊ sound at the end.
- allow /әˈlaʊ/
- how /haʊ/
- now /naʊ/
So thats it for the /aʊ/ sound but we have made additional videos on each of the groups of sounds Vowels, Diphthongs, Single Consonants, or Consonant Pairs as well as a video explaining the the phonetic chart.