Spelling the long vowel sound /ō/: o-e, oa, ow, oe

homophones - learn to spell similar sounding words Homophones from this section:

If you confuse these words the computer spellchecker will not spot your mistake -
so it is especially important to learn them.

toe - 5 on each foot

tow - pull behind
He trod on my toe.

I'll tow your car to the garage.
Learning tip to help your spelling You need wheels to tow.

no - not yes

know - be sure of
You asked me and I said "No".

Did you know him well?

knows - is sure of

nose - on the face
Nobody knows much about her.

He broke his nose in a fight.

hole - empty space

whole - all
Moles live in holes.

I slept for a whole day.

wrote - written

rote - repeating
She wrote me short note.

I learnt the poem by rote.

loan - something lent

lone - single
I need a loan to buy my car.

The Lone Ranger rode alone.

slow - not quick

sloe - plum-like fruit
That clock is ten minutes slow.

Sloes are small and sour.

row -
1) line
2) on a boat

roe -
1) fish eggs
2) deer

1) The children sat in rows.
2) Row the boat across the river.


1) Caviar is made from roe.
2) A roe is a small deer.

flow - move along

floe - floating ice
The river flows slowly here.

A huge floe is an iceberg.

groan - moan

grown - from 'grow'
She keeps moaning and groaning.

I have grown tomatoes for ten years.

pole - post

poll - election
Run the flag up the pole.

Vote for me at the polls.

ode - poem

owed - to pay
The poet wrote an ode to his love.

James owed me $50.

bolder - more bold

boulder - rock
'Bolder' means 'more brave'.

A boulder is a large round rock.

rose - flower

rows - lines
Red roses are a sign of love.

There were rows of empty seats.

sole -
1) only
2) fish
3) part of foot

soul -
1) person
2) spirit

1) He was the sole person to clap.
2) A sole is a flat sea fish.
3) There's a hole in the sole of my shoe.


1) There was not a soul to be seen
2) Prayer is good for the soul.

road - street

rowed - with oars

rode - had a ride
She lives across the road from me.

They rowed in the boat race.

Paul rode his bike every day.

so -
1) therefore
2) very

sow - plant seeds

sew - stitch

1) I'm tired so I'm going to bed.
2) It's so late.

Sow the seeds in spring.

I need to sew a button on my shirt.

next part of the spelling course
Go to the next part of this unit:
Spelling the long vowel sound /ū/.

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Unit 7, Part 2: Spelling the long vowel sounds

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