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a (ah) b (bay) c (say) d (day) e (euh) f (eff) g (zhay) h (ahsh) i (ee) j (zhee) k (kah) l (elle) m

(emme) n (enne) o (oh) p (pay) q (koo) r (air) s (esse) t (tay) u (oo) v (vay) w (doobleh vay) x
(eeks) y (ee grek) z (zed)

Q is pronounced like English K.

The aigu accent

The grave accent

The circumflex accent

Notice that the circumflex and grave accents sound exactly the same.
The cedilla - ( Which sounds like an 'S' in English )
Another thing to note is that if an 'H' is used at the beginning of a word, it is always silent!
The E letter is the only one phonitically affected by accents. ALL the other vowels do not change their
sound. They have an accent to help simply with the reading of written French.
In French more sounds are created when vowels are linked together. This and the use of accents creates
more than 26 sounds in the French alphabet.
a + i = j'ai

I have
a + u = o eau

o + i = ua moi

o + u = u vous

e + i = peine

e + u = u eu

e + u = e veux


c + h = ch ch

p + h = ph physique

= s Franais


A Basic rule of pronounciation in French is that if the last letter of the word is an 'E' without an accent
then you don't pronounce it, you simply pronounce the consonant just before
In general at the end of words in French the last letter is silent. There are three exceptions to this rule.
These three letters are 'C','F' and 'L'.
exemple english
c avec

l matriel

f chef


In French double letters simply sound as one.
exemple english



The last thing to notice for this part of the lesson if one word finishes with an 'X', 'S' or 'Z' and the next
word starts with a vowel or an 'H', you must link the words.
This is called 'la liaison'. ..and this is what makes you think you've only heard one word when in actual
fact there was six or seven.
exemple english

two friends

we have
This is called 'la liaison'. ..and this is what makes you think you've only heard one word when in actual
fact there was six or seven.

La liasion creates a different sound when you link D to a vowel. It becomes a 'T' sound.
exemple english

a big airport

a great friend

In French this is a group of letters than make the same sound, this is outlined in the two tables below.


all sound the same!




all sound the same!




Notice how the sounds in the groups all sound the same.

In French if a word begins with a vowel then it's linked to the previous word.
That's why when you listen to French sometimes you think someone has said 1 word and they have
actually said 47 !
Listen to the examples below to see if you get what we mean, if you don't have sound then try
pronouncing the words in your head as one word!

exemple english

some orange noses

some animals

two alligators

In French if the word before ends with an S, X or Z then the sound of the link sounds like a mosquito !!


all sound the same!




all sound the same!




Notice how the sounds in the groups all sound the same.
Ending with N or M and intital is A,E,I,U (Except O, Y vowel)

Counting Numbers:
0 zro

1 un

2 deux

3 trois

4 quatre

5 cinq

6 six

7 sept

8 huit

9 neuf

10 dix

The consonants at the end of the French numbers cinq, six, huit, and dix are pronounced
when at the end of a sentence or in front of a vowel. However, they drop the final sound
when followed by a word beginning with a consonant (such as cent, fois, mois, or livres).
For example, dix is normally pronounced [dees] and dix lves is [dee zay lehv], but dix
livres is pronounced [dee leevr(eu)]. (Note that the x at the end of six and dix, which is
pronounced [s] at the end of a sentence, changes to [z] in front of vowels due
to liaison.)

If you are saying six of something or ten of something then the last letter (the 'X') IS NOT pronouced.

If you are just saying the numbers on their own then the last letter (the 'x') ISpronouced (like an 'S'!).


12 douze

13 treize

14 quatorze

15 quinze

16 seize

17 dix-sept

18 dix-huit

19 dix-neuf

20 vingt

Quatre cat rrrr
Quatorze cat ors

LE SINGE et LA GIRAFE! - The Monkey and the Giraffe!
English French [masc.]
a monkey un singe

the monkey le singe

the elephant l'lphant

UN is A. Un is used for all nouns that are MASCULINE.
LE is THE. Le is used for all nouns that are MASCULINE.
English French [fem.]
a giraffe une girafe

the giraffe la girafe

the ostrich l'autruche

UNE is A. Une is used for all nouns that are FEMININE.
LA is THE. La is used for all nouns that are FEMININE.

L' is THE. L' is used if the nouns starts with a vowel, h or y ! Whether it is Male of Female (Ostrich above is female and
elephant isn't!)

A common way to summarise this is shown below..
Singular Plural
masculine feminine masculine ou feminine
Articles indfinis (a) un


Articles dfinis (the)


les l'
(for: a, e, i, o, u or h)
A = UN, UNE or DES (if more than one)
The = LE , LA OR LES.
Depending on whether the word is masculine, feminine or plural. Simple.

Le : pronounced as luh
La same like that
Les Lay
o Red/Rouge
o Pink/Rose
o Orange/Orange
o Yellow/Jaune
o Green/Vert
o Blue/Bleu
o Purple/Violet
o Gray/Gris
o Black/Noir
o White/Blanc
o Brown/Brun or Marron
2. 2
Learn basic French pronunciation rules. "R" is pronounced from the back of the
mouth, close to the throat (think of a softer version of Hebrew "ch"). "A" is a short "O"
sound. In this article, "J" is a sound that is somewhat of a cross between "j" and the "sh"
noise. Softer than J but not quite "sh".
3. 3
Keep the following in mind when pronouncing individual colors:

o Red/Rouge: "Rouge" is pronounced just like the type of makeup (if that's unclear, it's
pretty much "rooj"). The only difference is that the "r" comes softly from the back of the
o Pink/Rose: "Rose" is pronounced just like you would in English, but again with that
"French" R sound.
o Orange/Orange: In English, you emphasize the first syllable but in French you're going
to emphasize the second syllable and make sure that the "a" makes a short "o" sound.
Pronounce it like "oh RONJ".
o Yellow/Jaune: Think of the French name Jean, a form of John. Say "Jean" but make the
kind of short "o" noise you make more into sounding like the word "oh".
o Green/Vert: The T is silent. Pronounce it like "air" with a V in front.
o Blue/Bleu: Sounds the same.
o Purple/Violet: VEE-oh-lay.
o Gray/Gris: Think of the word "agree". Leave off the "a" at the beginning and there you
o Black/Noir: Have you ever heard of filme noir, a genre of American cinema a few
decades ago? Noir is pronounced like that--and if you're still not sure: no-R (pronounce
that R like the letter).
o White/Blanc: Think of the word "blank". Now make the "a" noise into a short "o" noise.

These are the names for the colors in French! Colors are all adjectives as they
describe something.
Every adjectives gender and quantity must agree with the noun it describes. Some
adjectives simply add e to the masculine form to form the feminine. Note the different
pronounciations of each.
ie. green (masculine) is vert, green (feminine) is verte

If you remember the Monkey and Giraffe from the last lesson, we can demonstrate how
to describe them with the different adjectives.
English French [masc.]
The green monkey Le singe vert

The green monkeys Les singes verts

Notice in the second example, because we are referring to more than one
monkey, THE becomes LE + S, MONKEY becomes SINGE + S and
GREEN becomes VERT + S.

English French [fem.]
The green giraffe La girafe verte

The green giraffes Les girafes vertes

When describing things in French the adjective for the color goes after
the item you are describing, as in all the above examples.

OK probably not the most useful phrases in French, but hopefully you can now see
how a noun is Masculine or Feminine and how it affects what you do with your

English masc. fem. masc. pl fem. pl.
black noir




white blanc




grey gris




pink rose


rose *

rose *

brown brun




* In French for every rule (adding an S for example to make things plural) there are
You will notice above that ROSE and ORANGE do not take an S when plural.

Why? When the colour comes from an actual thing (ie. A rose, an orange) you cannot use
an 'S'.

LES VERBES - The verbs
For the purpose of this lesson we are going to explain a couple of prsent de
l'indicatifverbs. Put simply, the 'indicatif' relates to the mood of the verb and present to the

Don't worry if you don't know / understand exactly what that means we will cover that in
later lessons.

By present tense we are referring to something that is occurring now.

For the purpose of demonstration we are going to be looking at the French Verb
REGARDER - which means TO WATCH.

Now some good news, the verb REGARDER (This is the Infinitive of the verb) belongs to a
common group of verbs that all have the same conjugations.

So that means knowledge gained learning REGARDER can be applied to all the verbs within
that verb common group.

REGARDER is a member of the REGULAR -ER verbs group, this is because the Infinitive
ends in ER.

REGARDER is made up of the root 'REGARD' and the ending 'ER'.

Look at the tables below on the left is the English / French ways to say 'TO WATCH' (in the
present tense), on the right is a break down of how the endings differ.
English French root ending
I watch je regarde

regard e
you watch
tu regardes

regard es
vous regardez

regard ez
he watches il regarde

regard e
she watches elle regarde
we watch nous regardons

regard ons
they watch
ils regardent

regard ent
elles regardent

English French
I je

you tu

he il

she elle

we nous

you vous

they ils

they elles

..and missing from the example is 'on' which roughly translated
means one or people. eg. On regarde - People watch.

These are called PRONOUNS.

The pronouns ils / elles refer to 'THEY' but elles is used when you are addressing or
referring to just females, and ils when you are addressing or referring to just males or a
mixed group.

Notice too that in French there are several ways to say YOU. The 'tu' form is used when
you are familiar with the person you are talking to. To address someone who is older or
whom you don't know you should use the 'vous' form instead.

The trick to learning verbs is to learn the endings and apply them to the 'root' of the verb.
Lets take another example 'PARLER' which means 'TO SPEAK'
English French root ending
I speak je parle

parl e
you speak
tu parles

parl es

vous parlez

parl ez
he speaks il parle

parl e
she speaks elle parle
we speak nous parlons

parl ons
they speak
ils parlent

parl ent
elles parlent

Just use the same endings to the ROOT of the verb!

This same technique can be applied to the present tense for any of the following Regular
ER verbs.
infinitive verb meaning
aimer to like
adorer to like / love
habiter to live (in)
dtester to hate / dislike
travailler to work

Plus of course many, many more.

Notice that the PRONOUN Je becomes J' because it is before a vowel.