Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

Is the letter O in "one" a consonant or a vowel?

I know it's normally a vowel, like Y is, but in "one," it makes a W sound, and W is a consonant, so does that mean it's a consonant instead of a vowel?


Thanks for your answers. After reading them, it's clear O is serving as both a consonant and a vowel in "one," which John P's answer expresses and why I picked it as FA. I'm reminded of something my freshman English teacher said: "There's a rule in English that for every rule in English there's an exception, including this one." She was being funny, but it's funny because it's true. So the rule O is a vowel having "one" (excuse the pun) exception, formal or not, is the only answer that works.

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    The sound is both consonant and vowel, since no other vowel is there to make the 'U' sound after the 'W' sound.

    All the derivatives from 'one' have that unique sound (e.g. once;   oneness;  one-world). 

    Other words starting 'on-' follow the normal rules (e.g. ongoing;   oncology;  onerous)

    Going the other way, Americans say Noo York, with no real 'W' sound at the end of Noo.   In Britain we say New York, with a definite 'W' sound, and with the 'E' sound as a diphthong. (hard to write, maybe 'nee-oo-w'; really a continuous sound with transitions.)

    Tentofield shows it as 'wan', possibly he is in the USA.   Here in Britain I generally hear it and say it as 'wun', exactly the same as 'won' as in winning a match.

  • 1 month ago

    The letter "o" is always a vowel, but in words like "one" it has a consonant SOUND.

    That doesn't mean it IS a consonant.

  • 1 month ago

    If you write the word phonetically it is "wan". It has two consonants, w and n  and a low front vowel "a". The "o" in the written word represents the first consonant and the vowel, the "n" is the second consonant and the "e" is silent.

  • 1 month ago

    Yes. All letters are vowels, consonants AND silent all the time always - because that is a system of classification that makes things easier and makes perfect sense. /s

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  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    No, that's not how it works.

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