How to pronounce our and are

How to pronounce our and are

Even though the words our and are are spelled differently, they OFTEN sound the same.

What’s the reason?

It has to do with reductions.

You see, in SPOKEN American English, many words and sounds are reduced.

Native speakers stress important words and syllables. They UNstress less important words (and syllables).

When the pronounce OUR is used in a sentence, it’s often reduced.

When OUR is reduced it sounds like are.

Listen here.


  1. That’s our house.
  2. That’s our neighbor.

Sometimes we fully pronounce OUR

When OUR is really important we’ll pronounce it fully. The exclamation below is a good example.

  1. Hey, that one’z OURZ!!!

Follow the link to learn more about reduced sounds in American English.

About the author

Susan Ryan is an American English communication and accent reduction coach.

Contact me with your questions about clear American speech.