Vowels 16 and 19, /əʊ/ versus //    96 pairs      [mowmare.html]

The /əʊ/ diphthong is spelled in many ways including <oCe>, <oe>, <oa>, <ow>, <eau> in beau, and occurs in the letter name O. The // diphthong is spelled <ear>, <air> or <are>.

This is a contrast between two diphthongs with different starting positions and direction of movement. It is not a problem for any learner.

Interesting pairs include:

bonus bareness
dispose despairs

The density figure is 9.98%. The set makes 54 semantic contrasts giving a loading of 56.3%.

beau bare
  beaux bares
beau bear
  beaux bears
bow bare
  bows bares 
bow bear
  bows bears  
blow blare
  blowed blared 
  blows blares 
bode bared 
bone bairn 
  bones bairns 
bonus bareness 
chose chairs 
code cared 
cone cairn
  cones cairns 
compose compares 
dispose despairs 
doe dare
  does dares 
don't daren't 
floe flair
  floes flairs 
floe flare
  floes flares  
flow flair
  flows flairs
flow flare
  flows flares
  flowed flared 
foe fair
  foes fairs 
foe fare
  foes fares  
glow glare
  glowed glared 
  glows glares 
hoe hair
  hoes hairs
hoe hare
  hoed hared 
  hoes hares 
impose impairs 
known Nairn 
load laird 
  loads lairds 
low lair
  lows lairs 
low layer
  lows  layers
mow mare
  mows mares 
O air
  O's airs
O ere
O heir
  O's heirs  
ode aired 
owe air
  owed aired
  owes airs
owe ere
owe heir
  owes heirs
pose pairs 
pro prayer
  pros prayers 
prose prayers  
repose repairs 
show share
  showed shared 
  shows shares 
snow snare
  snowed snared 
  snows snares 
Spode spared
stow stair
  stows stairs
stow stare
  stowed stared 
  stows stares 
though their
though there
those theirs 
toe tare
  toes tares 
tow tare
  toes tares  
woad wared 
woe aare
  woes wares 
woe wear
  woes wears  

John Higgins, Shaftesbury, December 2009