Lesson 16

Unwritten Vowel /o/


The /o/ vowel sound is generally not written: it is implicit when a syllable starts either with a consonant or a consonant cluster, and ends with a consonant. So, for example, /phǒm/ (meaning "I") is written ผม. /troŋ/ (straight) is written ตรง. As usual, the tone is determined by the initial consonant, and any tone mark is written over the first consonant (or the second consonant if it's a consonant cluster).

Now try reading these words:

Be aware that some words that might look as if they start with a consonant cluster don't, and have to provide the /ua/ sound, e.g. กวน (to disturb) is pronounced /kuan/ not /kwon/, and ขวด (bottle) is pronounced /khùat/, not /khwot/.

Here are some more words, some of which have acting like this.

And finally, some longer words (some of which are tough!). Don't worry too much about the meaning: