There are 5 French accents:
Listen to the audio of the French accents and practice your pronunciation with our voice recognition tool, as well as going through other French lessons.
An important thing to know about pronouncing French words is that the French accent marks can completely change the pronunciation of a word. Luckily, most accent marks don't actually do very much!
Resources for further reading:
The cédille is only used on the letter C. It changes a hard "c" sound (like "k") into a soft "c" sound (like "s"). Ç is never used before the vowels e or i, as these 2 vowels always produce a soft "s" sound (glace, ici).
Rocket Record lets you perfect your French pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!
Le jeu du garçon
The boy's game
It lasts... / It takes...
The accent aigu is only used on the letter e.
The accent circonflex indicates that (historically) an "s" used to follow that vowel e.g. écouter and escouter
Le vieux château
The old castle
With a and u, the accent grave is used to differentiate some words; - à "to" versus a "has"
There you go!
The accent tréma indicates that the vowel is to be pronounced separately from the one immediately before it.
Some French accents do change the pronunciation and need to be learned and practiced. The é and the è are the two most common. Look at the pronunciation guide below and listen and practice.
(pronunciation = ay)
(pronunciation = eh)
That's probably enough pronunciation practice for now! Remember the more you listen, the more you'll be able to recognize words as they're spoken.
I would strongly recommend that you check out this lesson on the French alphabet next!
À bientôt !
Marie-Claire Rivière and the Rocket French Team
Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities! These activities are scientifically designed to improve your knowledge and retention of French.