French Alphabet & Pronunciation
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
French Alphabet
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a = ahh
b = bay
c = say
d = day
e = euh
f = eff
g = jay
h = ash
i = eeeee
j = jee
k = ka
l = ell
m = em
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n = en
o = oh
p = pay
q = kuh
r = air
s = ess
t = tay
u = ew
v = vay
w = dooble vay
x = eeks
y = eeee grec
Z = zed
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
• Final consonants are usually silent: Paris
(pa-ree).
• However, the consonants C, R, F & L are
usually pronounced at the end of words.
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
Common exceptions where the last letter
can be heard include:
• Août (August)
• Cinq (five)
• Sept (seven) (can hear ‘t’ but not the
‘p’!!)
• Huit (eight)
• Neuf (nine)
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
Accents
• Some but not all accents can change the
sound of the letter and or the meaning
of a word. The main ones are:
• É accent aigu
• È accent grave
• Ê accent circonflexe
• Ë trema
• Ç cedille
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
‘ç’ (cedille) changes the ‘C’ (K) into an ‘S’ sound for C followed
by A, O or U. C already makes the ‘S’ sound followed by ‘E’ or
‘I’
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Français (French)
Garçon (boy)
Leçon (lesson)
Ciel (sky)
C’est (it’s)
Ce n’est pas (it’s not)
Glace (icecream)
Citron (lemon)
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
‘h’ is not pronounced hôtel (ohtel),
homard (omar) (lobster).
• Horrible (horrible)
• Henri (Henry)
• Hôpital (hospital)
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
‘q’ or ‘qu’ has a hard ‘k’ sound e.g.
quinze (sounds like ‘cans’) (fifteen)
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Quatre (four)
Quatorze (fourteen) ‘cat oars’
Qui (who)
Quitter (to leave – can also say ‘partir’)
Cinq (five)
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
‘r’ is said at the back of the throat with the
tongue at the bottom of the mouth (in English
the ‘r’ makes the tongue go up). It sounds
like a softer version of a cat trying to get
rid of a furball 
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Travaille (work)
Garage (garage)
Carottes rapées (grated carrots)
Tranche (slice)
Hiver (winter)
Printemps (spring)
Réserver (to reserve)
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
‘th’ is pronounced just ‘t’ which is why French native
speakers have a lot of problems with our th and you
may hear them say ‘zat was ze zeory on zursday ze
forz’ instead of ‘that was the theory on Thursday
the fourth’ although I haven’t heard this sentence
too often!
• Thé (tea)
• Thierry (Terry or Thierry as in the footballer
Thierry Henri)
• Cathédrale (cathedral)
• Théâtre (theatre)
• Thon (tuna)
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
‘u’ = oo e.g. sur (soor) (on)
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Jus (juice)
Université (university)
Rugby (rugby)
Jupe (skirt)
Musique (music)
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
‘ui’ (wee) e.g. huit (weet)
Huître (oyster)
• Huile (oil)
• Cuire (to cook)
• Suivre (to follow)
• Lui (him)
• Nuit (night)
• Puis-je? (may I?)
• Puis-je cuire les huîtres avec l’huile pour lui
cette nuit? = May I cook the oysters with oil
for him this night?!
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
Bravo!
French Alphabet and
Pronunciation
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French Alphabet & Pronunciation