Welcome to this Seattle Learning Academy video lesson.

The short o sounds like (short o). It's the vowel sound in the word top (t soundshort op sound).

How to Pronounce the short o Sound

The vocal tract is very open for the short o sound. To create this sound, the jaw drops and the tongue is low and flat. You'll probably be able to feel your bottom side teeth with the sides of your tongue.

The lips are open and rounded for the short o sound, but only because that's what naturally happens when the jaw drops. You don't need to exaggerate making your lips into a big, round circle for the short o. It's just (short o).

(short o) top (t soundshort op sound)
(short o) top (t soundshort op sound)

The short o sound has a rather long duration, meaning that the sound is said for more time than some other vowel sounds.

Repeat the short o after me: (short o)

Repeat our short o key word, toptop.

Common Spellings

The short o sound has only one common spelling, the consonant-o-consonant spelling. Remember, the initial consonant is not strictly required.

Examples of the short o spelled consonant-o-consonant are:


Even though there's only this single, common short o spelling, the consonant-o-consonantspelling is still complicated because it's used for two other sounds in American English. Those sounds are the long o sound (long o), as in the word most and the aw sound (aw sound), as in the word dog.

Non-phonetic Words

A common non-phonetic short o word to be aware of is the word father. Despite being spelled with the letter a, the first syllable of father is pronounced with a short o sound: (short o), father.


  1. lot
  2. job
  3. stop
  4. box
  5. mom
  6. spot
  7. modern
  8. option
  9. concept
  10. comment
  11. adopt
  12. conference
  13. politics
  14. document

Thank you for watching this Seattle Learning Academy video lesson.

Exit: Shocked by a box in some socks