FRENCH ALPHABET– VOCABULARY TESTING GUIDE

 20 cards | 14 sub-topics | all 4 skills tested

INTRODUCTION

In this section, we will study the French alphabet in detail and get our ABC down.

More specifically, we will focus on the French vowels as well as accented letters, and consonants and their true sounds in words (phonics).

There is quite a lot to say about the French language, its history and how its alphabet came to be. There are also specific rules everyone really serious to study the French alphabet should be familiar with. Shortly, you will find on this platform a dedicated course on French phonetics, which I hope will be useful to the intermediate and advanced French language learner. 

For now, find below the foundation pillars of the French alphabet.

Ready to start? Partez! (Go)!

1. FRENCH ALPHABET + AUDIO

1.1 Introductory notes

The French alphabet includes 26 letters. These letters are made up of 6 vowels and 20 consonants. Howers, one should also be aware of the various accented letters present in the French alphabet. Don’t worry if you have no idea what I have described. Everything is explained below with a pronunciation guide. Enjoy!

1.2 Reading the French Alphabet

ALPHABET [A – B – C]

SOUND [A – B – C]

ALPHABET [D – E – F]

SOUND [D – E – F]

  • A-a
  • B-b
  • C-c

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-abc-alphabet.mp3″]

  • D-d
  • E-e
  • F-f

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-def-alphabet.mp3″]

ALPHABET [G – H – I]

SOUND [G – H – I]

ALPHABET [J – K – L]

SOUND [J – K – L]

  • G-g
  • H-h
  • I-i

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-ghi-alphabet.mp3″]

  • J-j
  • K-k
  • L-l

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-jkl-alphabet.mp3″]

ALPHABET [M – N – O]

SOUND [M – N – O]

ALPHABET [P – Q – R]

SOUND [P – Q – R]

  • M-m
  • N-n
  • O-o

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-mno-alphabet.mp3″]

  • P-p
  • Q-q
  • R-r

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-pqr-alphabet.mp3″]

ALPHABET [S – T – U]

SOUND [S – T – U]

ALPHABET [V – W – X]

SOUND [V – W – X]

  • S-s
  • T-t
  • U-u

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-stu-alphabet.mp3″]

  • V-v
  • W-w
  • X-x

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-vwx-alphabet.mp3″]

ALPHABET [Y – Z]

SOUND [Y – Z]

  • Y-y
  • Z-z

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-yz-alphabet.mp3″]

2. FRENCH VOWELS + AUDIO

2.1 Reading the French vowels

VOWEL [A – E – I]

SOUND [A – E – I]

VOWEL [O – U – Y]

SOUND [O – U – Y]

  • A-a
  • E-e
  • I-i

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-aei-alphabet.mp3″]

  • O-o
  • U-u
  • Y-y

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-ouy-alphabet.mp3″]

2.2 Accented French vowels

2.2.1 Accented forms of vowel A-a

ACCENTED VOWEL [A-a]

SOUND

ACCENTED VOWEL [A-a]

SOUND

À-à [A accent grave]

Je viens à dix heures./ I’m coming at 10 o’clock.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/je-viens-a-dix-heures.mp3″]

Â-â [A accent circonflexe]

Une pâte dentifrice./ Toothpaste.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/une-pate-dentifrice.mp3″]

2.2.2 Accented forms of vowel E-e

ACCENTED VOWEL [E-e]

SOUND

ACCENTED VOWEL [E-e]

SOUND

É-é [E accent aigu]

La télé./ TV.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/la-tele.mp3″]

È-è [E accent grave]

Le père./ Father.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/le-pere.mp3″]

Ê-ê [E accent circonflexe]

La fenêtre./ Window.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/la-fenetre.mp3″]

Ë-ë [E tréma]

Le canoë/ La Noël./ Canoe/ Christmas.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/le-canoe-la-noel.mp3″]

2.2.3 Accented forms of vowel I-i

ACCENTED VOWEL [I-i]

SOUND

ACCENTED VOWEL [I-i]

SOUND

Î-î [I accent circonflexe]

Une île./ An island.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/une-ile.mp3″]

Ï-ï [I tréma]

Je mange du maïs./ I’m eating corn.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/je-mange-du-mais.mp3″]

2.2.4 Accented forms of vowel O-o

ACCENTED VOWEL [O-o]

SOUND

Ô-ô [O accent circonflexe]

Nous arrivons bientôt./ We’re arriving soon.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/nous-arrivons-bientot.mp3″]

2.2.5 Accented forms of vowel U-u

ACCENTED VOWEL [U-u]

SOUND

ACCENTED VOWEL [U-u]

SOUND

Û-û [I accent circonflexe]

Elle joue de la flûte./ She plays flute.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/elle-joue-de-la-flute.mp3″]

Ü-ü [u tréma]

Une réponse ambigüe./ An ambiguous answer.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/une-reponse-ambigue.mp3″]

Ù-ù [U accent grave]

Où sommes-nous?/ Where are we?

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/ou-sommes-nous.mp3″]

2.2.6 Accented forms of vowel Y-y

ACCENTED VOWEL [Y-y]

SOUND

ACCENTED VOWEL [Y-y]

SOUND

Ÿ-ÿ [Y tréma]

La commune d’Aÿ/ The commune of Aÿ

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/la-commune-d-ay.mp3″]

3. FRENCH CONSONANTS + AUDIO

3.1 Reading the French consonants

CONSONANT [B – C – D]

SOUND [B – C – D]

CONSONANT [F – G – H]

SOUND [F – G – H]

  • B-b
  • C-c
  • D-d

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-bcd-consonants-alphabet.mp3″]

  • F-f
  • G-g
  • H-h

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-fgh-alphabet.mp3″]

CONSONANT [J – K – L]

SOUND [J – K – L]

CONSONANT [M – N – P]

SOUND [M – N – P]

  • J-j
  • K-k
  • L-l

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-jkl-consonants-alphabet.mp3″]

  • M-m
  • N-n
  • P-p

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-mnp-alphabet.mp3″]

CONSONANT [Q – R – S]

SOUND [Q – R – S]

CONSONANT [T – V – W]

SOUND [T – V – W]

  • Q-q
  • R-r
  • S-s

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-qrs-consonants-alphabet.mp3″]

  • T-t
  • V-v
  • W-w

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-tvw-consonants-alphabet.mp3″]

CONSONANT [X – Z]

SOUND [X – Z]

  • X-x
  • Z-z

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-xz-alphabet.mp3″]

3.2 Accented French consonants

CONSONANT [Ç-ç]

SOUND

ACCENTED CONSONANT [Ç-ç]

SOUND

Ç-ç [C cédille]

Je mets un glaçon dans ma boisson/ Put an ice cube in my drink.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/je-mets-un-glacon-dans-ma-boisson.mp3″]

3.3 Sounds of French consonants in words

ACCENTED CONSONANT [Ç-ç]

SOUND

ACCENTED CONSONANT [Ç-ç]

SOUND

Bb –> /b/

babine / Lip.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-b-sound-babinefrench-b-sound-babine.mp3″]

Cc –> /k/ or /s/

cacao / Cocoa | ceci / This

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-c-sound-cacao-ceci.mp3″]

Dd –> /d/

dodo / Beddy-byes.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-d-sound-dodo.mp3″]

Ff –> /f/ or /v/

facile / Easy | neuf heures/ 9 o’clock

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-f-sound-facile-neuf-heures.mp3″]

Gg –> /g/ or /ʒ/

gare/ station| argent/ money, silver

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/gare-argent.mp3″]

Hh –> usually silent

l’homme/ man| le héros/ heros

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-h-sound-homme-heros.mp3″]

Jj –> /ʒ/

joujou / Toy.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-j-sound-joujou.mp3″]

Kk –> /k/

kilo/ kilo

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-k-sound-kilo.mp3″]

Ll –> /l/

lilas / Lilas.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-l-sound-lilas.mp3″]

Mm –> /m/

maman/ Mother

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-m-sound-maman.mp3″]

Nn –> /n/

nano / Nano.

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-n-sound-nano.mp3″]

Pp –> /p/

papa/ Daddy

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-p-sound-papa.mp3″]

Qq –> /kw/ or /k/

quoi/ What| qui/ Who

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-q-sound-quoi-qui.mp3″]

Rr –> /r/

rare/ Rare

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-r-sound-rare.mp3″]

Ss –> /s/

sauce/ Sauce

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-s-sound-sauce.mp3″]

Tt –> /t/ or /s/

total/ Total| démocratie/ democracy

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-t-sound-total-democratie.mp3″]

Vv –> /v/

vivant/ Alive

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-v-sound-vivant.mp3″]

Ww –> /v/ or /w/

wagon/ Wagon| kiwi/ kiwi

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-w-sound-wagon-kiwi.mp3″]

Xx –> /ks/ or /gz/

boxe/ Boxing | xylophone/ Xylophone

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-x-sound-boxe-xylophone.mp3″]

Zz –> /z/

zèbre/ Zebra

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/french-z-sound-zebre.mp3″]

4. LIGATURES IN THE FRENCH ALPHABET

ligature in French language represents the physical link or connection between 2 or more vowels. There are two ligatures in French. One involves the vowels O and E, and the other A and E. 

To briefly explain their origins, let me only say that the <OE> ligature is a replacement of the native French form <eu/ue> used centuries ago in Old French for words such as [beuf/buef] –> now /bœuf/ (cow). Some loaned Greek words have also kept the ligature in French [œsophage] and [œdipe]

Likewise the <AE> ligature is used in words of Latin origins, for example,  [tænia]  (tapeworm) 

4.1 Ligature with [OE]

LIGATURE [OE]

SOUND [OE]

œ [e dans l’o]

bœuf./ Cow | sœur./ Sister .

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/boeuf-soeur.mp3″]

4.2 Ligature with [AE]

LIGATURE [AE]

SOUND [AE]

æ [e dans l’a]

tænia./ Tapeworm | ex æquo./Tie .

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://frenchtasticpeople.com/vocabulary-audio/french-alphabet-vowels-consonants/taenia-ex-aequo.mp3″]

Bonjour there! You have now reached the end, or have you? Well, although this vocabulary lesson teaches you very important tips on how to read and pronounce French vowels and consonants, there are still two other crucial parts I have not touched here yet: vowel-vowel and vowel-consonant sound combinations in French. We’ll be working on making another lesson about these topics. In the meantime, enjoy!

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