How to pronounce o sound

This pronunciation lesson is designed for 3-6-year-old children to help them pronounce the letter ‘o’ using its phonic sound.

 Learning phonic sounds is important for children as this helps them read faster and more fluently. This is the first step in learning spelling and vocabulary.

In our previous video lesson, we learned about phonics, the importance of learning phonics, and the phonic sound of the letter ‘n’. This video lesson is the 15th in a row of learning the sound of letters. 

 Why is it Important to Learn Through Phonics? 

Children at an early age examine the sounds that every letter makes, and how the sound changes when letters are joined together to form words. The pronunciations or sound changes when combined with other consonants or vowels. 

Pronouncing letters correctly is the foundation for breaking down the words and then decoding them to read in a better way with understanding, which is also fruitful for extending vocabulary knowledge. Learning how to pronounce also helps them become proficient in reading and writing, as understanding the sounds makes them choose the correct phonograms for spelling.

How to Pronounce the Letter o?

The vowels in each word are pronounced uniquely, resulting in distinct sounds. Similarly, the vowel ‘O’ also produces different sounds. It is important to know how to pronounce the letter ‘o’ when used with different letters. 

The 3 sounds of the letter ‘o’

  • The short vowel sound of o or the /o/ sound – /ɑ/

To produce the short vowel sound of ‘o’, the jaw drops while the tongue is low and flat as in stop. The vocal tract opens to pronounce the short /o/. Short /o/ has a longer duration as compared to the rest of the vowels. 

The words with the short /o/ pronunciation are – job, shop, stop, box, top, cot, etc. When pronouncing the words above, you might have noticed that we don’t need to stress the vowel ‘o’.

  • The long vowel sound of ‘o’ or the sound of /uh/.

 To make the /uh/ sound: the corners of the lips come in a little so the lips flare away from the face. The back of the tongue lifts towards the back of the roof of the mouth. The front of the tongue remains down, but it might be pulled slightly back, so it’s not quite touching the back of the bottom front teeth.

           This /uh/ sound of the letter o is used in words like love, Monday, torn, etc. 

In these examples here, we have to stress on o for a little longer to produce the sound of ‘o’, that is why they are called Long ‘o’ vowel words.

  • The long sound of /O/. 

           To make this sound: make a round shape of your lips. The voice for this sound comes from the back of the throat. 

            A few examples of the same are tomato, potato, total, go, foot, goat, etc. 

Because we have to stress long for the vowel ‘o’, that is why they are called Long ‘o’ vowel words.

How to Introduce the Pronunciation of the ‘o’ to the Child?

  1. Invite the child to the table and tell them, today we are going to learn the sound of the letter ‘o’ produces.
  2. Show the child what the letter ‘o’ looks like and the sound of the letter ‘o’.
  3. Say it several times by producing the /uh/, /, or /o/ sound.
  4. Ask the child to repeat the sound after you.
  5. Show the child a picture or miniature of words starting with ‘o’, such as orange. 
  6. Repeat the sound of the letter o every time while showing the image of the orange. 
  7. Now show another picture and again produce the letter ‘o’ sound.
  8. Ask the child to pronounce the letter ‘o.’

Other Activities to Introduce the ‘o’ Sound to the Child 

  1.  Clay dough is an easy and fun idea to let the child understand the shape and sound of the letter o- Let the child make a trail of clay dough while rolling it and then forming an oval of the same and pronouncing the short sound of the letter o.
  2. Playing a game of tic-tac-toe would be mind-boggling and creative. Give the child the opportunity to make a circle, whereas the educator may make a cross. And as the child makes a circle, let him make a loud but short sound of the alphabet o. The child may also say some words involving the letter o.
  3. Peeling an orange would keep the toddler busy along with making a quick sound of the letter ‘o’
  4. Some drawing and craft activities can be introduced to focus on various sounds of the alphabet o such as coloring an owl, or collage of an octopus, etc.

 This video allows the child to explore the short vowel sound of the English letter ‘O’ and learn words starting with it, such as octopus, oven, and orange.

Watch the video to learn how to introduce the sound of the letter ‘h’ using words and repeat it many times so that the child can hear and pronounce the words accurately.

Related Pronunciation Videos:

  1. Pronunciation of the letter ‘j’
  2. Pronunciation of the letter ‘g’
  3. Pronunciation of the letter ‘e’
  4. Pronunciation of the letter ‘p’

For more pronunciation and English language resources, click here

Video created by: Strykun Olena



  • English
  • phonic sound
  • pronunciation