Learn how to say the difference between ‘want’ and ‘wont’ with an Australian accent!

Hi, it’s Esther here from Speak More Clearly!

Recently I’ve been asked a few times how to say the difference between ‘want’ and ‘won’t’. It can be tricky to hear the difference or know what to do in your mouth to say them clearly. 


How to say ‘want’ Correctly in Australian English

Let’s start with ‘want’

The word ‘want’ is said as if it’s spelt ‘wont’ /wɒnt/

So w-’o’ nt. The Australian  ‘o’ sound, as in ‘hot’.

Your jaw is dropped and your lips are relaxed, and your tongue tip gently touches behind your bottom front teeth.  ‘o’ vowel.    ‘O’   ‘o’   

Let’s practise!

want /wɒnt/ 


How to say ‘won’t’ Correctly in Australian English

For the word ‘won’t’

You need to say a proper ‘oe’ /oʊ/ diphthong, and not leave out the short ‘oo’ sound before the ‘n’ in won’t. 

The ‘oe’ vowel is made up of  the ‘o’  and  a short ‘oo’   /oʊ/   

Drop your jaw for the ‘o’, and then lips forward for the short ‘oo’ 

So you need to put your lips forward for the short ‘oo’ before you say the /n/ in won’t. Like when you say ‘don’t’.  


Pronounce Practise Words Want and Won’t in English

Let’s practise! See the phonetic spelling for these English words below.

won’t  ( wo-oont– ‘oont’)       

won’t   ( wo-oont)  

So not wahnt,  but wo-oont

Let’s say it more quickly, and still put your lips forward quickly for the 2nd part of ‘oe’, before the /n/. 

won’t /wnt/ 

Bonus English Pronunciation Practise Tip:

You may have to practise this word very slowly 10 times in a row at first to make sure your mouth is getting used to having lips forward before the /n/ before you speed up a little.


Phonetic Spelling for Want and Won’t:

Let’s practise the 2 words together!

want     /wɒnt/

won’t  /woʊnt/


I hope that has made it clearer for you. 

For more pronunciation tips, check out this video lesson on the difference in pronunciation between the words ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ for an Australian accent.

Don’t forget that there’s detailed training and practice work in our Australian accent online course, for the ‘o’ and ‘oe’ vowels as well. 

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