Police, Polish & polish ~ Why the confusion?

Police, Polish & polish ~ Why the confusion?

Police, Polish & polish ~ Why the confusion?

Police, Polish & polish ~ Why the confusion?

Why are the words police, Polish and polish confusing to pronounce?

There’s a reason.

And it has to do with the sounds of the letter O.

Police

The O in the word police has a schwa vowel sound.

Polish

The O  in the word Polish has an /ow/ as in Rose vowel sound.

polish

The O in the word polish as an /ɑ/ as in Olive vowel sound.

Listen here

 

The letter O

The letter O has many sounds in spoken American English.

And that can make words with the letter O challenging to pronounce correctly!

Do you know the sounds of the letter O?

Follow this link to my post called The Sounds of O to learn these American sounds.

About the author

Susan Ryan is an accent reduction coach. Contact her with your questions about clear American speech.