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[ow] vowel sound | English Pronunciation Lesson

Connected speech is a speaking technique that native English speakers use to speak with flow and musicality. It’s essential that English language learners learn and practice the rules of connected speech if they want to speak clearly and understand native English speakers.

Connected speech is most obvious when we connect a consonant to a vowel (C+V). However, sometimes this consonant-vowel linking comes when two words are connected by two vowels.


If I say:

  • “Do you see it?” [dyuw SiY yɪt]

I don’t stop between every word and say

  • “Do – you – see – it?”  [DUW YUW SiY ɪt]

Instead, I connect the words with connected speech and say,

  • “Do you see it?” [dyuw SiY yɪt]

Notice that the words “see” and “it” are connected by two vowels, the letter /e/ and the letter /i/. In English, the sound in the word “see” actually ends in the consonant sound [y].

  • “see” [siy

So, when I connected the “see” to “it”, I connected the [y] to the [ɪ] and said:

  • “see it” [SiY yɪt]

Consonant insertion at the end of vowels appears in the vowel sounds:

  • [ow] “oh” as in the verb “to go” 
  • [uw] “oooh” as in word “blue”
  • [iy] “eee” as in the verb “to see”


This lesson will practice connecting the vowel sound [ow] to other vowels.

Notice how the vowel [ow] ends in the consonant sound [w]. That [w] sound comes naturally as a result of rounding your lips for the [ow]. That [w] connects two vowels.

Therefore, be sure to really round your lips (more than what might be natural or comfortable for you) to make a proper [ow] vowel sound.

Listen and Repeat

Notice the [w] sound at the end of [ow], and how it connects two vowels.

  • “Go_away!”  [GOW wə WeY]
  • “Take a photo_of us!”  [FOW DOW wəv]
  • “He put the cello_in its case.”  [tʃɛ low wɪn]
  • “Go_upstairs.”  [GOW wəp STeYRZ]
  • “She plays the piano_on the second floor.”  [piy YÆN now WAN]
  • “At the zoo, we saw a hippo_and a frog.”  [Hɪ pow WAND]

As always, post your questions and comments below. And if this lesson was helpful to you, feel free to share it with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Thank you for share your english language knowledge.
    Please, make a podcast about /t/ silent, as in “sentence”, “listen” and others. Thank your.

    • You’re very welcome, and great idea! My students often wonder about the [t], which is often not “released” at the end of many words. This means we don’t push air out through our teeth when we say it, but instead, we hold our tongue to the top of our mouth. For example, “won’t” has a /t/ at the end, but you can’t really hear it.

      Of course, we also have completely silent /t/, like “listen” and “often”, etc.


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