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How to say ‘aw’ in a word

This week I want to share with you an important tip on how to pronounce words with ‘aw’ spelling as in ‘law’ ‘saw’ and ‘awful’.

Watch ‘How to say ‘aw’ in a word’:


Today we’re going to discuss the spelling pattern AW – ‘aw’, as in “law”, ‘aw’. Now, we’ve already established that spelling and pronunciation do not always correspond in English. And this is a really good example.

Because although you have a W there, right? – ‘law’, we did not round our lips to make a /w/ sound. It is not ‘low’, all right? That’s a different word. We say ‘laa’, ‘laa’. So remember: whenever the W appears after an A, it represents together the ‘aa’ as an ‘father’ vowel sound – ‘laa’. Now, in some dialects, you’ll hear it as a more rounded sound – ‘lɔ’. That’s also okay.

The most important thing is that you have to remember: it is not a changing vowel. It’s not ‘low’, it’s “law”. “awful” and not ‘owful’. “awesome”: ‘aa’, ‘awesome’, and not ‘owesome’. Right? Let’s look at a few more words: draw, dawn, crawl, lawn. ‘aa’.

All right. That’s it for today.

The InFluency Podcast
The InFluency Podcast
179. How to pronounce Law and Low

As I always say, to make something your own you have to practice. Here’s a list of words with ‘aw’ spelling pattern. Practice them a few times separately and in context.


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2 Responses

  1. Contrary to your video, the correct way to pronounce the aw sound IS usually with its W. It is not pronounced as “ah”, or the short O sound. Although there is current and increasing mispronunciation of words like “AH sum”, such wide misuse has not changed this rule. The word is still pronounced with its W: “AW sum”.

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