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Capitals. letters. Name.
Vowels. Capitals. letters, Name.

Vowels. A a a as a in bar à á N

enne B b bey


C с

р pey D d dey

q no equivalent E e a é è ê. R r

aire F f eff


ess G g jey

T t

tey H h hash

U u no equivalentů I i ee


vey J j jee

X х

icks K k ka as ai in bar


у eegreck L ell


zed. M m



à. The grave accent on à distinguishes the preposition à from

the verb il a. â. The circumflex is 'put upon & in words derived from Latin,

and when a letter or a syllable is left out of a word, as pâtre

(pastor), âme (anima), &c. é Marks the sound of é to resemble that of a English, as in vérité,

cité, traité, générosité, &c. The participle past of verbs of the first conjugation, marché, aimé, chanté, &c. It is euphonic,

and avoids the mute sound, as ténacité, gémir, &c. è. The grave accent gives the open sound to è, which otherwise

would be mute and awkward, as prèt, fidèle, père, &c. e. The circumflex takes the place of the s, formerly used, as tête,

not teste ; tempête, not tempeste, &c. i. The circumflex accent is used on words derived from Latin, ô

and in the place of a syllable left out, nous eúmes (habuimus),

ils reçurent (accipierunt), &c. The circumflex accent on ő is ú entirely euphonic. Il.

The sound of the l called I mouillée is perfectly distinct from

the preceding syllable. Ex. Brouillard, pron. brou-illard ; Ille. ) sommeil, pron. so-mme-il ; bataillon, pron. ba-ta-illon, &c.




The French Alphabet consists of twenty-five letters, viz. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, U, V, X, Y, Z.

Of these, six are vowels, and nineteen consonants. The vowels are a, e, i, o, u, y.

Three accents are used in French, the acute', the grave', and the circumflex“. They affect the sound and the quantity of the vowels over which they are placed.

A, unaccented, is short, as in malade, sick; but it is long and broad in páte, paste ; áme, soul ; marátre, stepmother.

The grave accent, used upon the preposition à, to, and adverb , there, does not alter its sound; it is used merely to distinguish the preposition from the verb il a, he has ; and the adverb from the article la, the.

E, unaccented, is called e muet : me, me ; le, the ; repos, rest. At the end of a word, it is scarcely heard ; it is, as it were, whispered ; monde, world ; homme, man ; Rome, Rome.

E, with the acute accent, is called é fermé. It is sounded as in vérité, truth ; générosité, generosity ; été, summer. The sound is short.

E, with the grave or the circumflex accent, is called e ouvert ; è, é : prèt, ready ; nièce, niece ;, nèfle, medlar , même, same ; tête, head.

Observe, that è, é, have the same sound; but there is a difference as to quantity : è is short, and é is long.


1, unaccented, is short: fini, ended; inimitable, inimitable; épine, spine; pilote, pilot. With the circumflex accent, it is long, gíte, abode.

Remember, that i is never sounded in French as in the English word rise; but always as in dignity.

0, unaccented, is sounded short, as in botte, boot; monopole, monopoly; but with the circumflex accent, it is called grave, and sounded long, as in côte, coast; apôtre, apostle.

U retains the same sound whether accented or not; but it is long with the circumflex accent: uni, united; public, public; flûte, flute.

Y has the sound of I. Lyre, lyre; physique, physics ; mythologie, mythology. After another vowel, it is pronounced as double i ; pays, country (sounded as pai-is); envoyer, to send (sounded as en-voi-ier).

The combinations, au, cau, ai, eu, ou, are called, by some, compound vowels. Their sounds are exemplified in aurore, aurora; bateau, boat; aimable, lovely; balai, broom; Europe, Europe ; Dicu, God; bleu, blue; mourir, to die douter, to doubt.

Ois, ais, eois, eais, aient, aient, in verbs, and in somė names of nations, are also compound vowels, and sounded as é. Anglais, English ; je parlais, I spoke; ils nageaient, they swam ; ils allaient, they went.

Oi, ois, are diphthongs in loi, law; moi, me; bois, wood; foi, faith ; toi, thee; moisir, to grow mouldy, &c.

The nasal vowels are am, an ; em, en; im, in ; om, on; um, un

Their sounds are exemplified in ramper, to crawl; danser, to dance; emplir, to fill; entendre, to hear; impót, tax; infini, infinite ; pompe, pomp ; don, gift; parfum, perfume ; un, one.

As in (French) are pronounced, aim, ain, ein ; in faim, hunger ; daim, deer ; nain, dwarf; teindre, to dye, &c. &c.

of the consonants, b, d, f, h, k, m, n, p, q, r, v, z, are pronounced as in English before vowels, and require, therefore, no observation; but c, g, j, l, s, t, x, offer some difference.

C is sounded hard, as in English, before a, 0, w, l, r; as cabale, cabal; clameur, clamour ; but before e, ,, and y,

it has the sound of s, as in cela, that; certain, certain. Ch is pronounced as in chemin, road; chapeau, hat; but before r it has the sound of k, as chrétien, Christian.

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