The "Or" Sound: Quick Pronunciation Lesson
The "or" sound is very common in English, but it can be spelt in many different ways. Here are some typical spellings and examples:
Remember that the following words all have the "or" sound, even if they are spelt differently and have different meanings:
Pour, poor, pore and paw
"Can you pour me a glass of water?"
"They are very poor."
"Her pores are blocked."
"The dog lifted its paw."
Or, oar and ore
"You can have the ice-cream or the cake."
"You'll need oars to row this boat."
"They mined for gold ore."
Roar and raw
"The lion roared."
"This meat is raw!"
Sore and saw
"His thumb is sore."
"She saw him at the party."
For, fore and four
"What's for dinner tonight?"
"He has lines on his forehead."
"He's four years old."
Boar and bore
"I saw a wild boar."
"She's always bored at school."
Caught and court
"He caught a fish."
"They went to court to settle the claim."
Sort and sought
"What sort of music do you like?"
"The king sought a princess for his son."
Pronunciation mistakes with the "or" sound
Italian speakers (in particular) have difficulties with the "or" sound, often saying it as "oh". Check out this video for more help and examples: