assault

auction

Austen

austere

Australia

Austria

because

cauliflower

caustic

claustrophobia

fault

hydraulic

Launceston

laureate

laurel

sausage

somersault

vault

4 thoughts on “au as in fault

  1. Jo

    I recently had a conversation with a grade 1 child mentioning that ‘because’ has the ‘o’ sound spelled with ‘au’ like in Australia and he pointed out that ‘we’ say Australia with an ‘u’ sound at the start which made me realize, that is what I do, too. Now, I am wondering what others do? When I say Aussie it is with an ‘o’ sound. Interesting!

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    1. alison Post author

      Hi Jo, we Aussies typically say a schwa, the unstressed vowel, at the start of “Australia”, because this word has second-syllable stress. It’s not the same as ‘u’ as in ‘up’. However when spelling, we say each syllable in a stressed way, and that’s when it’s more useful to say either an “o” like in “fault”, or an ‘au’ like in August, which is how the Queen says “Australia”.

      Reply
    1. alison Post author

      Yes, the Macquarie Dictionary lists two pronunciations: /ɔˈθɒrəti/ (say aw’thoruhtee), and one starting with /ə-/ (say uh-). But when storing the spelling of a word in long-term memory it’s useful to say it the way it’s spelt rather than the way it’s ordinarily pronounced.

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