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French Alphabet and Pronunciation of French Language

The French alphabet is exactly the same as the English alphabet, except the letters are pronounced differently. Following are the approximate French pronunciations for each letter. For related topics, please click on French Language.

Letter Pronouncation Letter Pronuncation
A ah N en
B bay O op
C say P pay
D day Q koo
E uk R ehr
F ef S es
G ghay T tay
H ash U oo
I ee V vay
J jhay W doo-blaw-vay
K ka X ex
L el Y ee-grek
M em Z zed

Some of the individual letters can have accents, which change the way they are pronounced. Following are the different versions: â, ç, é, è, ê, î, ï. These are not different or additional letters, they are merely letters with accents.

The letter H is not pronounced, or to be more accurate, is pronounced very lightly.

The pronunciation of letters is also affected by their position. If the last letter of a word is a consonant, it is not pronounced unless:

  • the first letter of the next work is a vowel, or

  •  the consonant is a C, F, L, or R. These four consonants are pronounced even if they are at the end of a word. The way to remember this is to remember the word "careful", which has the same four consonants.

The French phrase for "How is that spelled?" is "Comment ça s'écrit?".

For words with more than one syllable, the stress is always on the last syllable. If you can practice this, your French will be much better understood.

 
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