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I don’t know about other people but I pronounce the o in hot (as in the the o in olive) differently than the o in coffee (as in the a in call) – as a result I don’t know how to pronounce /o/.
I suspect you have a British accent. UK has two different sounds for the vowels in cot and caught. In America these are both olive sounds /o/. The extra UK vowel sound is /Aw/ as in Auburn.
What does the ^mean?
It is a keyboard symbol that represents the vowel sound in ‘wood’ and ‘could’.
Thanks for your answers. Yes, English really is a complicated language. I didn’t realize. I suppose it doesn’t matter if the vowel sounds are slightly different to the way we pronounce them. I imagine that beginner speakers will just be happy to understand 🙂
That’s right! Most languages are ‘sound-based’ and the pronunciation of every sound is important – even critical. Not English. If learners understood the tremendous tolerance native English speakers have for sound variations (no flexibility with word stress however) they wouldn’t be so self conscious about speaking English! Native English speakers find accents charming and are impressed when someone speaks more than one language (English speakers usually don’t).
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