Want to learn how to do the famous New York accent? There are several features that make the New York City accent unique. One of the most key – yet hard-to-master – defining features is that the vowel “aw” can sometimes appear in unexpected places. In comparison to the Standard American Accent, New York accents are really heavy on the “aw” (and it’s not just because New Yorkers are so awesome!)

Places where the “aw” sound appears include:

  • Words containing “aw”, for example, awesome, awful, awkward, dawn, law, and saw
  • Words containing “au”, for example, audition, August, Australia, author, autumn, pause, sauce, and sausage
  • Words containing “al”, for example, talk, walk, ball, small, tall, wall, all, always, and already
  • Words containing “ought”, for example, bought, fought, thought, and cough
  • Words containing “aught”, for example, daughter, caught, and taught
  • And certain common words containing “o”, for example, cloth, coffee, dog, long, lost, boss, cross, loss, toss, off, and office

Example sentences:

  • I bought some awful coffee while I was on a long walk with the dog.
  • I talked to the boss about taking a day off, but he thought I ought to come to the office.
  • I saw that famous Australian author last autumn at the writer’s ball.
  • My daughter caught a fish at the break of dawn.
  • Did you try the awesome pasta with sausage and tomato sauce at that restaurant?

Did you try the awesome pasta with sausage and tomato sauce at that restaurant?

Now go forth and practice your “aw”-some New York accent!

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