Online Test Banks
Score higher
See Online Test Banks
eLearning
Learning anything is easy
Browse Online Courses
Mobile Apps
Learning on the go
Explore Mobile Apps
Dummies Store
Shop for books and more
Start Shopping

How to Pronounce Combined Vowels in French

Several vowel combinations are possible in French: two or three vowels together or a vowel and a consonant. But each time the sound produced is a vowel sound, even when a consonant is included.

How to pronounce vowel combinations with a

The combination of a + i sounds like the first vowel sound (eh) in pleasure. Examples include mais (meh) (but), faire (fehr) (to do), and jamais (jah-meh) (never).

The combinations a + u and e + a + u have the sound oh, like the o in Halloween. Examples include, cadeau (kah-doh) (gift) and l’eau (loh) (the water).

How to pronounce vowel combinations with e

The combination e + t sounds like the first e in the English word ceremony. It is equivalent to the French é (e with an acute accent). Example words with this sound include bonnet (bohh-ney) (wool cap), sonnet (soh-ney) (sonnet), and cadet (kah-dey) (youngest son).

The combination e + u has the sound uh, like the e of the. Examples include: jeu (juh) (game), peu (puh) (a little), deux (duh) (two), and all adjectives ending in eux, such as ­heureux (uh-ruh) (happy).

The combination e + z also sounds like the first e in the English word ceremony. It is equivalent to the French é. Examples include: nez (ney) (nose), chez (shey) (at the house of), and most verb endings for the vous form of the present tense, such as jouez (zhooh-ey) (you play).

How to pronounce vowel combinations with o

The combination of o + i and o + y sounds like wah, as in the word watt. Examples include words like quoi (kwah) (what), foire (fwahr) (fair), and moi (mwah) (me) and also words with a y, like voyager (vwah-yah-zhey) (to travel).

The combination o + u has the sound ooh, like the u of sushi, but not at all like the ou of you, which is modulated! In fact, this difference is what you need to be aware of when pronouncing this sound: Do not modulate it. Examples include mousse (moohs) (foam), coude (koohd) (elbow), and chou (shooh) (cabbage).

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com

Dummies.com Sweepstakes

Win $500. Easy.