Lessons / Leçons: 0 (zéro)
Sounds and alphabet / Des sons et un alphabe

Pronunciation / Prononciation

Vowels / Voyelles

Consonants / Consonnes

Exercise / Exercice

The Alphabet/ L’alphabet

Accents / Accents (here on –e, -i)

Exercise / Exercice

Vowels / Voyelles

a, à, â – as in “cat”: appétit

e – as in “the”: querelle (quarrel) – expect before a double consonant pronounced è as in “left”: mouette (seagull), elle (she) and before x and s, pronounced é as in deny: exact (correct), intéressant (interesting)

é – as in “deny”: été (summer)

è – as in “left”: mère (mother)

ê – as in “left”: pêche (peache)

æ – as in “deny”: Lætitia (girl’s name)

i, ï, î – as in “leave”: image (image)

o, ô – as in “Australia”: orange (orange)

u, ù, û – as in “Uruguay”: rue (street)

And last but not least, -y, which can be vowel or consonant:

y (vowel) – as in “leave”: idylle (romance)

y (consonant) – as in “yell”: voyage (trip)

Slightly more difficult

ai / ei – as in “left”: français (French), neige (snow)

an / en (also am / em) – as in “can’t ”: anglais (English), lent (slow)

eu – 2 pronunciations:

  • between “e” and “u”: deux (two), heureux (happy)

  • like “e”: heure (hour), beurre (butter), fleur (flower)

œ, œu – as in “the”: cœur (heart), sœur (sister), œuf (egg)

on – as in “won’t”: pont (bridge)

ou, où – as in “pool”: lourd (heavy)

oi – as in “wallet”: miroir (mirror)

oin – as in “went”: loin (far)

un / in / ein / ain (also um / im / eim / aim )– as in “and”: un (one), interdit (forbidden), peinture (paint), faim (hunger)

Consonants / Consonnes

c has two pronunciations:

c before -a, -o, -u– as in “cat ”: copain (mate)

c before -e, -i, -y – as in “cinema”: citron (lemon)

therefore you have the ç, to be used before -a, -o, -u, to make the sound [s]: garçon (boy)

g has two pronunciations:

g before -a, -o, -u – as in “go ”: gare (station)

g before -e, -i, (y – as in “geld”: girafe (girafe)

to have the sound g as in “go” before -e, -i, -y, you add -u after the -g: guerre (war)

g before -n is pronounced [nie] – as in “knew”: magnifique (splendid)

h is not pronounced. It’s either silent or aspirate. You won’t make a liaison before an aspirate -h.

q is almost always followed by -u, and makes the sound [k] as in “kiss”: queue (tale),

r is pronounced like a very very light Spanish jota: rouge (red)

s alone at the beginning of a word – as in “silk”: sel (salt)

s alone in the middle of a word between 2 vowels – as in “zest”: oser (to dare)

s alone in the middle of a word between a vowel and a consonant – as in “silk”: destin (destiny)

ss (always in the middle of words) – as in “silk”: essayer (to try)

w like v – as in “very”: wagon, unless it is an English word (week-end will be pronounced like in English)

You usually won’t pronounce the final consonant. However, you’ll see a few exceptions, as coq (rooster), os (bone), tong (flip-flap), œuf (egg)…



ch – as the English -sh in “shark”: chat (cat)

ill – like the English -y in “yes”: fille (girl)

sc – like ss as in “peace”: ascenseur (lift)

ph – like f as in after: phésnomène (phenomenon)

Exercise / Exercice

Pronounce the following words

araignée, saperlipopette, vin, western, gorge, saphir, champagne, foin, poire, cendre, chanter, vanille, profond, court, lettre, faire, baleine, mur, rond, pain, sang, âgé, aspirateur, blague, assis, œuf

(spider, gad!, wine, wine, western (films), throat, sapphire, champagne, hay, pear, ash, sing, vanilla, deep, short, letter, doing, whale, wall, round, bread, blood, old, Hoover, joke, sit, egg)

The Alphabet / L’alphabet

The French alphabet is the same as the English one, only the name of letters are different.

You want to understand them when someone spells a word or a name.

Text / Texte

Comment ça s’écrit ? - How do you spell it?

Comment ça se prononce ? – How do you pronounce it?

Comment on dit ? – How do you say?


A, a


B, b

C, c

D, d

E, e


F, f


G, g

H, h


I, i


J, j


K, k


L, l


M, m


N, n


O, o


P, p

Q, q


R, r


S, s


T, t

U, u


V, v

W, w

double vé

X, x


Y, y

i grec

Z, z


Extra letters

ç, ç : cé cedille (cedilla)

Œ, œ : e dans l’o

Æ, æ : e dans l’a

Accents / Accents (here on –e, -i)

é : accent aigu

è : accent grave

ê : accent circonflexe

ï : tréma

Exercise / Exercice

Épelez vos nom et prénom à voix haute (Spell your first name and surname aloud).

Essayez avec quelqu’un d’autre d’épeler et d’écrire ce que vous entendez (Try with someone else to spell and write down what you hear).





French is still the universal language of love. This is the main reason why the number of people wishing to learn how to speak, read, and write French fluently continue to rise.