French pronunciation of some specific groups of letters

After having studied the basics of the French pronunciation, you may notice that there are some couple of letters which have a specific pronunciation of French.

Groups of vowels:

  • on / om

We pronounce written “on” or “om” like this:

It’s a nasal sound. There are a few nasal sounds in French, they are all in the following sentence: Un bon vin blanc.

You can find “on” in bon (good) but also in pont (bridge); bonbon (Candy); pompier (firefighter)…

  • In / en / ein / un

We pronounce these groups of letters:

We can find “in” in intérieur (inside); pin (pine)…

We can find “un” in the article un (a/an for singular masculine words)…

We can “ein” in plein (full)…

We can find “en” in bien (well)…

It’s also a nasal vowel.

  • oi

We prononunce “oi” like this:

We find this phonem (=sound of a language) in oie (goose); emploi (employment), froid (cold)…

It’s an oral vowel.

  • euil / ueil / oeil

We pronounce these groups of letters:

We find “euil” in écureuil (squirel), feuille (leaf); portefeuilles (wallet)…

We find “ueil” in “accueil” (reception)

We find oeil in oeil (eye)

  • eu

We pronounce “eu” like this:

It’s a long sound.

We can find “eu” in eux (them); curieux (curious); il pleut (it’s raining)…

Groups of consonants:

  • gn

We pronounce these two letters:

We can find “gn” in champignon (mushroom); chignon (bun); peigne (comb); signe (sign) …

  • ph

We pronounce this group of letters like “f” :

phénoménal (phenomenal), phrase (sentence); photo (photo)

  • ch

We pronounce “ch” like this:

cheval (horse), chevalier (knight), chapeau (hat)…

Don’t hesitate to repeat the sounds and the words with the audio. It’s by speaking that we improve our pronunciation.

Some tips to pronounce French better

How should you pronounce French in a more authentic way?

When you start to learn a foreign language, it’s sometimes difficult to pronounce some new sounds. It’s very common, don’t worry!

French is a language which is difficult to pronounce because words are not written in the same way as they are said. Like English!

Some very French sounds:

  • The nasal vowels. They are articulated with the nose. You have all the French nasal sounds in the following sentence: “Un bon vin blanc.
  • “U”, that you can find in “tu”.
  • “R”: The French is “R” is pronounced with the uvula (the small organ which hangs at the back of your throat). You can find “R” in “rue”.

Some tips to have a positive attitude to improve your way of pronouncing the French language:

  • Don’t give up! The first classes are the most difficult but it will get easier and easier.
  • Listen to the French language outside the classroom: on the radio, on TV, in movies to get used to these new sounds.
  • Focus on the prosody, that is to say the melody of the language.
  • Find the sounds that YOU have problems to pronounce and focus on them.
  • Listen to them carefully and try to imitate them. Learning a language also means that you need to act. When you speak a foreign language, you become somebody else. Don’t be scared of the French version of yourself that you’re becoming.
  • Speak French even if your pronunciation is not perfect at the beginning.
  • Practice your French sounds when you’re by yourself and when you’re available: in your bathroom, in front of the mirror, for instance.
  • If you like French songs, listen to some and try to follow the lyrics to understand how the sounds are pronounced by the singer.
  • Read out loud

All these tips will help you feel more comfortable in your new language. It’s not easy but the more you listen to the French language and practice it, the more comfortable you’ll feel. You will even think that it’s pleasant to pronounce new sounds and you will be proud of yourself.

Prononciation de “plus”

Quand faut-il prononcer le “s” à “plus”?


Quand “plus” = + (more)

On prononce le “s” de “plus ” quand le mot signifie + (more) et est placé en fin de proposition ou de phrase.

Ce que j’aime le plus, c’est le chocolat.

C’est celui que j’aime le plus.


Quand “plus” signifie “anymore”, on ne prononce jamais le “s”.

Je ne t’aime plus (prononcé “plu”).


Plus de + nombre

J’ai plus de 20 BD à la maison.

On ne prononce pas le “s” de plus.


Plus + adjectif

Il est plus drôle que Tom.

Quand l’adjectif commence par une consonne, on ne prononce pas le “s”.

Il est plus intelligent que Pierre.

Quand l’adjectif commence par une voyelle, on faut simplement la liaison donc “s” se prononce “z”.


Prononciation: dialogue de présentation

  • Bonjour. Je m’appelle Robert. Et vous?
  • Bonjour. Je m’appelle Nathalie.
  • Comment?
  • Nathalie.
  • Comment ça s’écrit?
  • N.A.T.H.A.L.I.E
  • Quelles langues parlez-vous?
  • Je parle français, anglais et un peu espagnol. Et Vous?
  • Je parle anglais et un peu français. Je suis américain. Et vous? Quelle est votre nationalité?
  • Je suis belge.


Prononciation de “sortir”,”lire” et “faire” au présent

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Je sors

Tu sors

Il / elle sort

Nous sortons

Vous sortez

Ils / elles sortent




Je lis

Tu lis

Il / elle lit

Nous lisons

Vous lisez

Ils / elles lisent




Je fais

Tu fais

Il / elle fait

Nous faisons

Vous faites

Ils / elles font



Les mois de l’année

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Les mois de l’année:















Les jours de la semaine

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Les jours de la semaine:










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Prononciation: la famille

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La famille

Les parents

Les grands-parents

Le père = the father

La mère = the mother

La grand-mère

Le grand-père

Le fils = the son

La fille = the daughter

Le petit-fils = the grandson

La petite-fille = the granddaughter

Le beau-père = the father-in-law / the stepfather

La belle-mère = the mother-in-law / the stepmother

Le cousin = the cousin

La cousine = the cousin (female)

Le neveu

La nièce


La tante = the aunt

Why is it necessary to read out loud when you learn a foreign language?


Learning a foreign language is complex because not only do you discover new words, new grammar rules, another culture, but moreover, you must learn how to enunciate new sounds in a speaking chain. All this involves a new activity for your mouth. At the beginning, it’s not easy for your organs. You may have already noticed it but sometimes you can feel your muscles after having pronounced your first words in a foreign language. At the same time, you don’t totally recognize your voice because the frequencies of each language are different. To feel more comfortable quickly, it is essential to read out loud. You can read your classes, your texts and all the things which are interesting for you. The more you read, the more comfortable you will be. But reading out loud involves good pronunciation and a good prosody (the melody of the language), that’s why each language textbook is often accompanied by a CD.
At the beginning of the learning of a language, the ideal is to focus on the pronunciation rules first, then you should read silently, listening carefully to your teacher or the audio recordings. When you feel ready, you can begin to read the same text out loud. The fact of listening to the foreign language regularly will allow you to imitate the sounds and the melody of the language.
Don’t count on this way of reading to understand the text more easily, especially when you read it for the first time. Indeed, it’s more an exercise of pronunciation. For the written comprehension, it’s recommended to take your time when you read silently. It’s important to be able to decrypt the global meaning of the text first, then you can focus on its details.

Speaking another language means learning how to become somebody else. Reading out loud is a great exercise to learn and be comfortable with your « new you ».

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