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Get ready to learn: vowels
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Lesson 9 - Nasal sounds

ɔː (THOUGHT/NORTH/FORCE)

In Standard British English, the words in the lexical sets THOUGHT, NORTH & FORCE are pronounced with the same vowel – /ɔː/. This means there are a lot of words with this vowel in British English.

If you have studied with a teacher with an American accent, you may pronounce these sets with different vowels. You will need to decide whether it’s a good use of your time to learn to pronounce them all in the British way.

The main features of this vowel are as follows:

  • It’s a long, monophthong sound. This means there is no movement in the vowel, it’s the same sound throughout. Be especially careful this vowel sounds very different from GOAT – lots of learners find they get these sounds confused especially where there is “au” in the spelling.
  • It’s a back vowel and the lips need to be rounded. Take care not to make the sound too far back in the mouth though.

Video 1: How to make the sound

Video 2: Common words and sentences:

Common words:

for, or, your, all, more, also, call, talk, always, story, before, small, law, war, water, important, four, already, almost, before, morning, course, walk, door, court, fall, although, force, according, report, support, record, former, toward, form, cause, yourself

Sentences with these common words:

  1. For all your talk, your life is small.
  2. It’s important to always take care near water.
  3. I reported the call to the support team.
  4. Although I broke the law, the court thought my story was true.
  5. It’s four in the morning, I also need more sleep.
  6. According to my records, you walked into the door yourself.
  7. My daughter was almost walking before her fall.
  8. It’s almost time to explore the course.
  9. You could use force or you could use a horse.
  10. The former lawyer didn’t understand law and filled out the wrong form.

Video 3: Longer lesson about less common words with sentences:

THOUGHT
taught, caught, naughty, haughty, slaughter, daughter,
ought, bought, wrought, brought, fought, nought, sought,
taut, sauce, applaud, cause, faun, haul, Paul, autumn, author, taunt, laundry; hawk, crawl, yawn, jaw, law, saw, draw;
chalk, talk, walk, stalk, all, fall, small, wall, appal, instal,
bald, water, broad;

NORTH
or, for, nor, Thor;
war;

Thorpe, assort, cavort, consort, distort, exhort, resort, retort, short, snort, tort, cork, fork, stork, torque, York, scorch, torch, morph, gorse, horse, remorse, absorb, accord, chord, cord, lord, record, George, gorge,
form, reform, storm, adorn, born, corn, horn, morn, corpse,
porpoise, fortify, fortunate, fortune, important, corporal, mortal, mortar, shorten, tortoise, orchestra, orchid, Dorking, torture, forfeit, morphine, orthodox, torso,
orbit, order, border, ordinary, organ, organism,
organise, Morgan,
dormer, Mormon, normal, ornament, corner, forward, fortress;

FORCE
adore, before, bore, chore, core, deplore, explore, fore, galore, gore, ignore, implore, more, pore, restore, score, shore, snore, sore, spore, store, swore, tore, whore, wore,
boar, oar, roar, soar;
floor, door;
four, pour;

deport, export, fort, import, port, report, sport, support,
pork, porch, forth, divorce, afford, ford, horde, sword, forge, borne, shorn, sworn, torn, worn, portent, porter, portrait, proportion, Borneo;

coarse, hoarse, board, hoard, boarder;
court, fourth, course, resource, source, mourn,
courtier, mourning;

oral, adorable, angora, aurora, borax, choral,
Dora, fedora, flora, floral, glory, gory, moron, Nora(h), porous, story,
censorious, euphoria, gloria, glorious, Gregorian, historian, laborious, memorial, notorious, pictorial, Victoria(n).