Words with short o sound at beginning

Teach Phonics: Short o Sound — for Parents

Red Cat Reading Team Phonics

The phonics short o sound is the vowel sound in “hop,” “top,” “mop,” “tot,” “pot,” and “lot.” Other o sounds are the long o, as in “mode” or “toad,” and the double o, as in “mood.” All these different sounds that one letter can make can be confusing for a new reader! The short o sound is the easiest to understand (and teach!) so start there.

It’s usually easiest for kids to get some practice hearing the short o sound at the beginning of words.

Short o words list:

  • octopus
  • olive
  • ox
  • otter
  • ostrich
  • on
  • odd
  • of
  • onto
  • orange

Try reading up on some of these animals, watching videos about them, or tasting olives and oranges. Listen to the words together and point out to your child the letter that makes the short o sound.


o CVC Words

Once you’ve practiced together a bit with the words that begin with short o, move on to some simple words with short o sounds in the middle. “Consonant-vowel-consonant” or “CVC” words are great for this. There are lots of short o CVC words, too! Have fun with phonics time! Make learning short o words a fun experience for you and your child.

Short o CVC words list:

  • hop
  • mop
  • pot
  • lot
  • not
  • rot
  • cop
  • top
  • bot
  • job


o Sound Phonics Lesson

Watch our Short o Sound video with your young ones, and check out the rest of the lesson here!


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o Phonics Activities

Play Octopus Tag

This is a fun and active game to play with a group of kids. Try it with your crew! Choose a large defined area like a yard for the kids to run across. First, have one child be the octopus. All the other kids line up on one side; these are the “fish.” Together, all the “fish” shout, “Octopus, octopus, ah, ah, ah!” using the short o sound. All the “fish” run across the yard, trying to get to the other side without being tagged. The “octopus” tags as many people as he or she can. Anyone who is tagged becomes a “crab.” The “crabs” help the octopus to tag people, but must keep one foot planted at all times. The “fish” go back and forth until everyone has been tagged. The last person not tagged gets to be the octopus next round. This is a great activity for active kids who learn best while moving!

Short o Word Drawing

If your child likes to draw, this is the activity for them! Give them free creative reign to draw (or color) some short o words. Take a blank sheet and write the word in large letters at the bottom of the page. Give your child crayons or markers and let them go to town! Here are some good words to draw:

  • dog
  • pot
  • mop
  • log
  • hop
  • frog

Read the Dr. Seuss Classic Hop on Pop

This book is a classic for a reason! It is a great book for teaching the short o sound (as well as the concept of rhyming). You could also read the book Fox in Socks together, another classic that highlights short o sounds. The silly rhymes and pictures in Dr. Seuss books are so engaging to kids that they don’t even realize they are learning. After reading the story for a few days in a row (maybe each night before bed?), you could try leaving “blanks” for your child to fill in. For instance, you could say “hop on….” and wait for your child to complete, “pop!”

Any books targeting the short o sound are great! Rhyming songs are another fun way to learn. Try both and see what works best for your child.

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170 Common Short O Words with Useful Examples in English • 7ESL


The short o sounds can be made in many different ways in the English language. Short o is most commonly found with the letter o and letter teams au and aw. However, there are several other options for making the short o sound as well. Here is some information regarding what a short o word is, the different ways to spell the short o sound, and a list of short o words to help understand this vowel sound. Be prepared, as some of them look a little funny.

Table of Contents

Short O Word

What is a Short O Word?

A short o word is a word that makes a sound like “ahh” or “aw”. The vowel sound is considered short when it makes a sound that does not sound like the vowel’s name, “oh”. This sound is not always made by using the letter o and can be tricky to spot. As you’ll see below, there are some letter teams that might seem like they don’t belong, but are definitely part of the short o word family.

How to Spell Short O Words

Here are seven commonly used sound patterns used to make the short o sound, along with an example of a word using the sound pattern:

  1. o – got
  2. aw – law
  3. ho – honor
  4. au – auto
  5. a – all
  6. ough – thought
  7. augh – caught

As you can see, there are several very surprising ways in which to make a short o word using several different letter teams. It is helpful to know that most short o words are made with the letter o. The ‘au’ and ‘aw’ are also very popular letter teams that are used to make the short o sound. One rare way to spell this sound is with ‘as’, as in Arkansas. It is always fun and necessary to know and identify the other ways to write a short o word in order to read, write, and speak these words correctly.

List of Short O Words

The short o sound has many options in how it is spelled. Pay close attention to how your mouth makes the short o sound when saying some of these words that aren’t so obvious.

  • bob
  • cob
  • log
  • mob
  • rob
  • sob
  • cod
  • nod
  • odd
  • pod
  • rod
  • sod
  • bog
  • cog
  • dog
  • fog
  • hog
  • jog
  • log
  • mom
  • bop
  • cop
  • hop
  • lop
  • mop
  • pop
  • top
  • cot
  • dot
  • got
  • hot
  • jot
  • lot
  • not
  • pot
  • rot
  • tot
  • dock
  • lock
  • rock
  • sock
  • boss
  • loss
  • moss
  • toss
  • frog
  • blog
  • slob
  • awe
  • awesome
  • awful
  • bawl
  • brawl
  • crawfish
  • dawn
  • fawn
  • flaw
  • hawk
  • lawn
  • yawn
  • raw
  • saw
  • sawdust
  • scrawl
  • scrawny
  • jaw
  • law
  • paw
  • pawn
  • caw
  • claw
  • draw
  • flaw
  • slaw
  • spawn
  • sprawl
  • squawk
  • gnaw
  • thaw
  • straw
  • jigsaw
  • outlaw
  • seesaw
  • withdraw
  • honor
  • honorable
  • honest
  • audio
  • audit
  • auburn
  • August
  • author
  • autumn
  • applaud
  • auction
  • applause
  • astronaut
  • audience
  • audition
  • automatic
  • automobile
  • because
  • cause
  • clause
  • caution
  • exhaust
  • fraud
  • faucet
  • gauze
  • haul
  • haunt
  • launch
  • laundry
  • jaunt
  • pause
  • sauce
  • sauna
  • saucer
  • trauma
  • all
  • call
  • hall
  • mall
  • fall
  • ball
  • gall
  • wall
  • tall
  • small
  • stall
  • recall
  • squall
  • appall
  • befall
  • overall
  • pitfall
  • icefall
  • install
  • oddball
  • overall
  • seawall
  • drywall
  • eyeball
  • pinball
  • gumball
  • football
  • landfall
  • handball
  • firewall
  • meatball
  • birdcall
  • stonewall
  • screwball
  • whitewall
  • curveball
  • waterfall
  • dodgeball
  • basketball
  • cough
  • ought
  • fought
  • trough
  • thought
  • brought
  • wrought
  • caught
  • naught
  • naughty
  • daughter
  • onslaught

Short O Words | Image


Categories Vocabulary, Words

Sounds uː, ʊ, ʊǝ - examples, pronunciation, tongue twisters

We continue the phonetic rubric, the slogan of which is: English sounds are not equal to Russian ones. To learn the correct pronunciation, we have developed a recipe: we take a “bunch” of similar sounds, compare them with each other and with their Russian counterparts. Then we practice pronunciation and literally “train” the speech apparatus to the correct position with the help of several dozen example words and tongue twisters.

A line from a famous song will help to fix the result, which will cut into the auditory memory and will not let you forget the sound! nine0003

Today we will take sounds similar to the Russian sound |у| is a long diphthongoid |uː|, short |ʊ| and the diphthong |ʊǝ|.

Long sound |uː| – round, but don't stick out

Pronounced in words goose, too, rule , etc. This sound is very similar to ours, but there are two main differences:

1. English | uː | is a diphthongoid. That is, this is one sound, but we hear in it the “overtone” of the second sound (also | u |, but deeper), because the tongue and lips slightly change their position during pronunciation: the tongue moves back and up in the oral cavity. The lips are visibly rounded at the beginning and become even more rounded as the tongue moves. nine0003

2. To speak English | uː | lips are rounded, but not protruding forward. To see the difference, compare the two pictures. At the first, Russian-speaking singer Keti Topuria pronounces the word " y I fly" in the song of the same name. In the second picture, the English-speaking presenter from the previous video says one of the example words.

Think you can see the difference? 🙂

As a bonus, I'll tell you about one more important point: in combination | ju: |, which may remind you of the sounds of our letter "yu" (as in the word " yu la" ) - the preceding vowel is not softened! For example, in the words f ew, n ew, t une - we first pronounce the hard consonant and only then raise the middle back of the tongue to the hard palate for | | ju: |.

Got it? Did you catch the differences? We begin to work out the correct position on a set of words.

goose |ɡuːs|

who |huː| nine0003

through |θruː|

few |fjuː|

group |ɡruːp|

move |muːv|

you |juː|

threw |θruː|

yew |juː|

too |tuː|


tooth |tuːθ|

cool |kuːl |

rule |ruːl |

school |skuːl |

use |juːz|

tune |tjuːn|

fool |fuːl |

soon |suːn|

new |njuː|

do |duː|

two |tuː| nine0109 oo ms and fr ui t j ui ce.

  • A c u te b eau ty sal oo n u sually u ses perf u me, shamp oo and t oo thpaste prod u ced in the US.
  • J u dy's r oo m has a b eau tiful vi ew of a p oo l, L u cy's r oo m has a b eau tiful vi ew of r nine0011

    Pronounced in the words look, good, book , etc. It also differs significantly from Russian | at |. Firstly, the position of the tongue: it is not tense, pulled back, but not very far (in the Russian version, the tongue is pulled back further). The back of the tongue rises to the front of the soft palate not so high - up to half the distance.

    The second important difference is the position of the lips: they don't round as much. In fact, the lips need to be rounded, as for our | o |, but the mouth is not open so wide. The lips hardly protrude. nine0003

    Let's start the practice with words. Take the desired position of the mouth - and get to work!

    could |kʊd|

    full |fʊl |

    foot |fʊt|

    pull |pʊl|

    should |ʃʊd|

    look |lʊk|

    put |pʊt|

    good |ɡʊd|

    took |tʊk|

    book |bʊk|

    hook |hʊk|

    crook |krʊk|

    brook |brʊk|

    cook |kʊk|

    took |tʊk|


    hood |hʊd| nine0003

    would |wʊd|

    wool |wʊl |

    push |pʊʃ|

    puss |pʊs|

    soot |sʊt|

    woman | ˈwʊmən|

    sugar | ˈʃʊɡə r |

    The next step - tongue twisters with sound | ʊ |.

    • A g oo d-l oo king w o man c oo ks c oo kies with s u gar and g oo seberry from a g oo d c oo kb oo k.
    • nine0108 G OO D F U LLLERS ARE G OO D At F U Lening W OO L, G OO 9010 OO KS ARE G G 111111111111111110IA G G. oo kies, g oo d b oo kmen are g oo d at f oo tnoting b oo ks. C ou ld g oo d b oo ksellers be g oo d at b oo king b oo ks?
    • A c oo k's b OO Ksheelf is F U LL of C OO KB OO KS, A B OO KMAN’S B KCASE IS F U LL OFA G OO 0 LL OF

    And the last thing is the song. For this sound, I propose to dwell on the song of the singer La'Porsha Renae - "Good Woman".

    You got a g oo d g oo d g oo d g oo d w0014
    Cuz I'm a real g oo d g oo d g oo d good w o man (woman)
    But even g oo d women go bad when they go through what you p u t me through

    Sound |ʊǝ| What is a diphthong?

    Pronounced in words pure, sec u rity, tour etc . Let's start the conversation with what a diphthong is in principle. This is a combination of two vowels that are in one syllable . That is, when pronouncing this sound, the position of the speech apparatus changes , but at the same time you pronounce these “two sounds” together, without dividing them into syllables (as you divide, for example, in the Russian word p oe t - where "to" and "et" are two separate syllables).

    Do not confuse diphthong and diphthong oid (like the long |u: | we talked about above). In the diphthong and the “overtone of the second sound” is similar in quality to the main sound, and in the diphthong the two components of the sound are very different from each other. nine0003

    In a diphthong, one part is a syllabic core (strong sound), and the second is a weak, muffled sound (I would say “echo of a sound”).

    In our today's diphthong | ʊǝ | syllable-forming element is the sound | ʊ | (we just learned how to pronounce it). The second weak element is the “seam” sound, which we talked about in another article. Only within this diphthong does it become even more faceless and unexpressed.

    I must say right away that this diphthong in English is not so frequent. Moreover, in some words in modern English it is replaced by either the sound | ɔ: |, or simply on | ʊ | (especially in American English), or into 2 syllables: long sound | u: | + | ə |. Read more here. nine0003

    But still, I suggest you practice its pronunciation. First, do the following: say the word look |lʊk| several times (just in case, follow the link and speak along with the voice acting). Now, without changing the position for the sound | ʊ |, say the word lure |lʊə r |. Ready!

    Next, we begin to practice on other words. I repeat: there are not many of them.

    tour |tʊə r |

    pure |pjʊə r |

    cure |kjʊər|

    lure |lʊə r |

    during | ˈdjʊərɪŋ|

    security |sɪˈkjʊərəti |

    endure |ɪnˈdjʊə r |

    furious | ˈfjʊəriəs|

    fury | ˈfjʊəri |

    impure |ɪmˈpjʊə r |

    manicure | ˈmænɪkjʊə r |

    neuron | njʊərɒn|

    spurious | ˈspjʊəriəs|

    Let's not skip a step with tongue twisters:

    • I'll s ure ly speak fl ue ntly after a t ou r to Eu rope.
    • The j u ry got f u rious and m ur ed the p oo r p u ritan.
    • The M Oor S Havy Always L Ure D Sir C UR IE, BUT D U RING HIS T R TOT M 9010IR OO 11111111111110 RS POLS ie was cr ue lly removed from his b ureau for truancy.

    In conclusion - a song. I settled on "Pure Love" by Ronnie Milsap (word pure ).

    Pure love, baby it's pure love
    Milk and honey and Captain Krunch and you in the morning

    Let's sum it up: analogues of Russian |у|

    1. Long tone | u: | unlike ours, it is diphthongoid (the speech apparatus slightly changes its position during pronunciation): the tongue moves back and up in the oral cavity. The lips are rounded at first and, as the tongue moves, they become even more rounded. But do not bulge forward! nine0143
    2. Short sound | ʊ | also very different from ours. First, the tongue must be moved forward and lowered slightly. Secondly, the rounding of the lips is more like a position for our | o |, but the mouth is not so wide open, the lips almost do not move forward. The sound needs to be given a “tint” of our | s |.
    3. Diphthong | ʊǝ | is an indivisible combination of a strong syllabic sound | ʊ | and weak | ǝ |. In English, this sound is not so common.

    We don't say goodbye! nine0011

    We continue the countdown of the parsed sounds of the English language. After the last workshop, we had 22 sounds left. So at the moment there are only 22 – 3 = 19 ahead. :]

    The sound [ u: ] is a long and intense sound. When pronouncing the sound [ u: ], the tongue is slightly retracted from the lower teeth, the lips are rounded, but do not protrude forward as when pronouncing the Russian sound [ at ].

    Learn more

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