avó e avô

Otherwise known as grandmother and grandfather. I hardly hear any difference between them.

Does anyone have a clue as to how to distinguish? Are these words actually being used as such (in Brazil as well as in Portugal)?

September 13, 2013


the Ô in avô (grandfather) sounds similar to the "O" in "GOLD" or "COLD" the Ó in avó (grandmother) has similar pronunciation to the O in "ORANGE" or "GOT"

And in Brazil we make these two words shorter most of the time, so we just say VÔ and VÓ

September 13, 2013

so more like an o versus ah sound?

December 9, 2013

Another example for this is that the ó in avó sounds like you're beginning to say "aww" except you stop saying "aww" right after the 'a'.

When I say the word avó, I feel like I'm stopping the word suddenly. When I say avô, I feel like I'm just letting it trail off a bit more.

October 13, 2013

That's a good way of putting it from what I have learned of the pronunciation here in Portugal - we remember the difference as being grandfather is the one with the hat on.

October 21, 2013

That's a helpful tip. My grandfather never went out without his hat on.

November 17, 2013

In Portugal, definitely. The "o" in "avó" should sound like the one in "mock" and the "o" in "avõ" should sound like the one in "poll".

September 13, 2013

Even though my English is good, it's not native. the o in "mock" and "poll" sound the same to me too :/

edit: maybe you meant pole? - if I use google translate speach, it sounds like avô "avoh" and avó "avah"

September 13, 2013

John, try to listen the pronunciation in the Google Translator: It might help.

September 13, 2013

Yes, thank you! That's helpful. I keep missing this one here too.

October 22, 2013

Pole and poll have the same pronunciation. Although it's closer to the American sounding. Yeah, luizaugustomm is right, Google Translator sounds fine to me.

September 13, 2013

The correct is "avó e avô"

September 13, 2013

Such a subtle difference!

November 5, 2013

In avó the "o" is open (like "o" in English "dog") and in avô it is closed (sounds more like something "o" in English "go", but much shorter). These sounds are confusing for people speaking languages where there is no difference between both sounds. I am Polish and in my language we have just one sound "o" which is pronounced more often like "ó" in Portuguese, but sometimes like "ô". With some practice you learn how to pronounce those sounds well, but you will always have issues to hear the difference. In general the context always helps e.g. you will say "meu avô" or "minha avó", so the difference will be quite clear. By the way, the accents on "o" will always show you which Portuguese "o" should be pronounced. If you have "ó" it will be always open, if you have "ô" it will be always closed. Similar for "é" and "ê". This is why I hate the idea they have now to remove accents in many words (the writing rules change). In past they even wrote "êle" for him which is now "ele". They do not think about the foreigners who struggle with the difference and the ortography is the only clue we have haha.

January 2, 2014 children video where you can certaily hear the difference between the two sounds

March 22, 2017

According to this website that I use all the time to help me with Portuguese pronunciation, a common way to pronounce "ô" is as the "open mid-back rounded vowel" sound, "ɔ". It sounds like the o in "not". A rounded, "aww" sound, instead of the "ó", which is an accented (emphasized) "oh" sound.

  • Grandfather= avô (ah-vaww)
  • Grandmother= avó (ah-voh)
September 24, 2017

You have them spelled incorrectly.

December 2, 2013

I can not find de difference between them. Sometimes, it writes jus "vo" why?

December 7, 2013

It might help to remember what each word stands for by remembering where the accent is in each word.

December 7, 2013

most of the time here in Brazil we shorten it to just "vô" and "vó" Never without the accent mark. and try to see the difference, "avô" has the Ô sound as in cold while avó has the Ó sound as in got.

December 9, 2013

The sound in the " o " at the end is what distinguishes the two.

December 9, 2013

In Brazil (at least) there are the short forms "vô" for "avô" (like the sound of "eau" in French) = grandfather and "vó" for "avó" (like "o" in "dog") = grandmother. However these short forms are informal. They are most commonly used in Portuguese spoken. P.S.: I'm a Brazilian. ;)

January 3, 2014

If by any chance your native language is italian, castilian or romanian it is really difficult at the beginning because those languages do not have nasalized vowels or close and open vowels. Certainly for a french, a catalan or a portuguese theses two sounds are different. The only way to get them is to be exposed to the language frequently trying to recognize these two sounds.

March 22, 2017

Italian actually does have open and closed sounds for e and o, but not for the other vowels and also no nasal sounds.

April 27, 2017 aqui en este video puedes oir la diferencia entre los dos sonidos.

March 22, 2017

Gracias! Este video me ayudó mucho!

April 27, 2017

Quem me teve foi minha mãe Quem me criou foi minha avó - Israel Novaes When I first heard the "foi minha avó" part it was hard to distinguish what he meant but later on the song he says "ela nao me deixou so" I realized it was a she not a him. It is tough to separate for us beginners

May 7, 2017
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