Learn how to pronounce the word ON, OWN, and ONLY with this American English Pronunciation Lesson. These words are pronounced: /ɑn, oʊn, oʊnli/.


On means in contact with a surface and part of a topic.

Own means belonging to a person.

Only means solely, exclusively, or no longer than something.


She only wants to be on her own when she is studying.


Hello everyone it is Jennifer with Tarle speech with your pronunciation question. Our question today is how do I pronounce the word on – which is in contact with a surface or part of a topic; own – belonging to a person; and only – meaning solely or exclusively or um no longer than like only a year.

So let’s start with the n sound n let’s get that out of the way to save the sound you’re going to touch the tip of your tongue to the back of your top front teeth air moves out of your nose the l sound is made in the same spot this uh but the air moves out of your mouth.

So let’s also talk about the e e is that nice high flat tongue vowel is long and you are smiling so we’re going to end this word with lee lee.

Now let’s talk about these vowels o in english is very confusing for a lot of my students. It can be pronounced many different ways. We have two options here for the letter o and how we pronounce it.

For on we are going to pronounce it with an open short oh sound you can see my mouth is in an oval, it’s very open, my lips are not puckered. My tongue is going to be low in the front and pulled up and high in the back oh. You’re going to see I have to close my mouth oh on on on.

Now for own I’m going to start with that open mouth again, my tongue is going to be low the back, is going to be pulled up, but then I’m going to move to a pucker . oh oh As I close my mouth and move to that pucker my tongue is going to just come along for the ride it’s going to start here oh and it’s going to move up as I close my mouth. oh oh

And then add the n oh n own
So we have
on on on
own own own
only only only

So yes we’re going to use that long o here.

So let’s try those again
on own only
on own only

And now for a sentence
She only wants to be on her own when she is studying.
She only wants to be on her own when she is studying.

So give it a try i know people are going to notice the difference if you found this helpful tell your friends about us don’t forget to subscribe if you’re looking for some help we have products and classes listed at Tarle speech thanks so much everyone have a great week!