FRENCH DIFFICULT CONSONANTS

French Difficult Consonants French consonants are pronounced almost like in English, except that you don't linger on them; let them explode and move on to the vowel that follows. You can't pronounce French with a lazy mouth. Remember to articulate.

Another few words of caution: In French, the consonants at the end of a word are not usually pronounced, except for c, f, r, and l (the consonants in the word careful).

LETTER SOUND AS IN WORD NOTES

c c cash cache generally
c s set cette before e, i and y
ç s set ça only occurs before a, o, and u
g g god gant generally
g zh measure gens before e, i and y
h hour hier always silent
j zh measure je
m m more moi syllable initial
n n not non syllable initial
r r rouge
s s sit soie generally
s z zip pause between vowels
x ks fix fixe generally
x gz exam exercise between vowels (ex-)
y y yet yeux before a vowel
  • r - pronounced at the back of the throat, with your uvula. Needs lots of practise.

Combinations

Of the several consonant and vowel-consonant combinations used in French, two are pronounced as in English: ph and sc (pronounced [s] before e or i).

LETTER SOUND AS IN WORD NOTES

ch sh ship chic
gn ny onion Boulogne run the sounds together
il y yet oeuil see below
qu k quiche quand pronounced (kw) in a few words
tch ch check tchèque very rare
th t Thomas thé rare
ti sy pass you action before a vowel, similary '-tie' is pronounced like French 'si'



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