Minimal Pairs /ɒ/ and /əʊ/

as in not and note

Below is a list of words that vary only by one having the vowel sound /ɒ/ and the other the vowel sound /əʊ/.

You can use this list to practise the sounds, or as a list of words to be careful in pronouncing.

/ɒ/ is a short single sound made without the mouth moving. /əʊ/ is a diphthong -- a longer sound made of two sounds -- meaning that the mouth moves during production of the sound.


not note

want won’t


got goat

hop hope

on own


cost coast

non known

odd owed

rod road

rot wrote

sop soap

stock stoke

tossed toast

wok woke


block bloke

bond boned

bossed boast

clock cloak

cock coke

cod code

col coal

cop cope

god goad

jock joke

mod mode

pop pope

rob robe

rod rode

ROM roam

shod showed

smock smoke

sock soak

sod sewed


blot bloat

bod bode

bonze bones

chock choke

cocks coax

con cone

crock croak

doss dose

dot dote

foggy fogey

glob globe

hod hoed

lob lobe

lop lope

mod mowed

mop mope

mot mote

nod node

odd ode

rot rote

slop slope

sod sowed

tock toke

tod toad

tot tote