How to pronounce 'o' in a word by phonics?

‘o’ in gosta and gostar are different, also ‘or’ may sound differently in a word. I’m wondering if there’s a rule to figure out by phonics of pronouncing ‘o’ as o or u

When o is unstressed, it’s pronounced closed as ‘u’ (same as ‘oe’ in shoe), whereas the open o-sound is used when it is stressed.

Gosta is stressed on the penultimate syllable as normal (so on the o) whereas gostar is stressed on the last syllable (because the word ends in ‘r’)

There is a brilliant lesson with a 45 minute (I think) clip of Rui explaining all the wovels. I’m in a phone atm so can’t give a link but try searching for woven pronunciation or maybe just pronunciation.


Ou always gives that very open sound you hear for “or”. If you have ever learnt French this will feel counterintuitive, but is “just one of those things”.

@daaaarcy, here’s the video that @Tomas was referencing: Open & Closed Vowels in European Portuguese | Practice Portuguese

Also, this Learning Note :slight_smile: : European Portuguese Vowels - Pronunciation Guide | Practice Portuguese

Thank you, Joseph!

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Thank you, Tomas!

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