Difference Between Aural and Oral

Main Difference – Aural vs Oral

Although aural and oral are homophones, they have totally contrary meanings. The main difference between aural and oral is that aural refers to the ear or hearing whereas oral refers to the mouth or speaking. As these meanings imply, these two words refer to two of the most basic skills in language learning: aural skills and oral skills.  At the same time, these two adjectives are interlinked to each other since speaking and listening are not entirely discrete activities.

Aural – Meaning and Usage

The term aural comes from the Latin auris meaning ‘ear’. The adjective aural is always used to refer to things that are heard or listened to; it is always related to ears. For example, listening to beautiful songs can be considered as an aural delight. Aural is synonymous to auditory or listening.

His work was moving towards a visual medium towards an aural medium.

Testing student’s aural skills are one of the main objectives of this activity.

Many were of the view that their new composition is an aural delight.

It was compulsory to study the aural anatomy if you want to be an otolaryngologist.

As Oxford Dictionary’s usage guide indicates, a different pronunciation has been proposed for aural (to pronounce the first syllable of aural to match the rhyme of cow) to avoid the confusion caused by these homophones. But this pronunciation has not been made standard.

Difference Between Aural and Oral

Aural pertains to the ear and listening.

Oral – Meaning and Usage

The adjective oral is also derived from Latin; it comes from Latin oralis  meaning ‘mouth’. This adjective is used to refer to things that are spoken or things that are related to the mouth. For example, oral medicine is the medicine taken through the mouth. Oral is often used synonymously with spoken or verbal. However, it is important to note that verbal originally refers to the relation with words. Verbal refers to things that can be put into words, either spoken or written.

The sentences below will explain the usage of oral.

Mock interviews were an integral part of the oral test.

Her mother was very particular about their oral hygiene.

Their culture and literature were transmitted from one generation to another through oral tradition.

The doctor didn’t prescribe any oral medicines.

Oral cancer is more common in people over 40, particular men.

Oral is sometimes used as a noun to refer to spoken examinations or tests. For example,

Our French oral was postponed.

Students should complete their orals and final projects before 20th December.

Main Difference - Aural vs Oral

Oral pertains to the mouth and the act of speaking.

Difference Between Aural and Oral


Aural refers to pertaining to ears or listening.

Oral refers to pertaining to mouth or speaking.


Aural comes from Latin auris meaning ears.

Oral comes from Latin oralis meaning mouth.

Grammatical category

Aural is used as an adjective.

Oral is used as an adjective and a noun.Difference Between Aural and Oral -infographic

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