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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:

Or

Or
For
Forty
Sort
Short
Port

Ore

Ore
More
Tore
Pore
Sore
Bore
Fore

Oar

Oar
Roar
Boar

Our

Four
Pour
Court

Aw

Law
Paw
Jaw
Raw
Saw
Thaw
Flaw
Draw
Drawer
Trawl
Brawl

Ure

Sure

Oor

Door
Poor
Moor

Aught

Caught
Taught

Ought

Bought
Thought
Ought
Nought
Sought

Common homophones

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:




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