Mnemonics to remember if a word is spelled with おお or おう

I might be missing something, but it would be great if WK included mnemonics to remember when to spell something with おお (大きい, for example) or おう (like 王子).


大きい is “big” so it needs a big “o” (double o).

王子 A prince is a little king so it only needs a small “o” (single o).


Long-O is almost always ~おう. The number of common words that use ~おお can be counted on your fingers, so it’s really just a matter of learning the exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Don’t think of it like that, because now you’re gonna confuse ~お and ~おう as well. :stuck_out_tongue:


Yeah, I did not think that one through. Personally, I just remembered them. Thought I would try to be clever with a new mnemonic. My attempt has just proven why I just stick to what WK gives me :grinning:

The only thing I ever do with the WK provided mnemonics is to shorten them, down into a simple 3 to 5 word phrase. Which I only ever bother to do when I have something I am repeatedly struggling to recall.


Here are all the kanji until level 10 that have おお (I hope I haven’t missed any):

  • 大 big, 多 many - they feel related.
  • 通 that has to do with movement or passing through. Incidentally, I haven’t studied it in WK yet, but 遠い (far) has the same reading とお and feels related

Up to this point, my mnemonic is that these all have something to do with being big or moving far.

  • 十日 (10 days) which I find particularly annoying, especially contrasted with 八日
  • 氷 ice

All the rest are おう, so these are the only ones you have to remember until level 10. Pretty easy, because there aren’t many. :sunglasses:

And there’s also お姉さん, which has ええ instead of えい.


Well, for one おお is a kunyomi reading and おう is onyomi

  • kunyomi
    • 多い
    • 大きい
  • but with onyomi
    • 王子
    • 女王

You don’t need a mnemonic for these :slight_smile:


Thanks, everyone!