French Alphabet

Why learn the French alphabet? It is important and basic to be able to ask how to spell a word or name and know the letters. It is also essential to know the sounds, when you learn to read.

We recommend that young children – 10 years and under - focus on learning conversational French. Children can easily and quickly learn to read in middle school. In elementary school, children are still learning to read English – so no need to confuse them. This was the plan that I followed with my own children. They both speak and understand extremely well and have a great ear for other languages. At 10, they easily learned to read in no time. However, you can learn to sing the song at an early age for a fun head start.

The French alphabet has 26 letters, just like the English alphabet.

You can learn the pronunciation from our song.

Click here for the French Alphabet Song.

The Alphabet in French

  • a - ah
  • b - bay
  • c - say
  • d - day
  • e - e
  • f - effe
  • g - jay
  • h - ache
  • i - ee
  • j - ji
  • k - ka
  • l - elle
  • m - emme
  • n - enne
  • o - o
  • p - pay
  • q - cu
  • r – erre – (pronounced at the back of the throat)
  • s - esse
  • t - tay
  • u - oo
  • v - vay
  • w - doble vay
  • x -iks
  • y - i grec
  • z - zede
  • Letters With Accents

    Letters with Accents The following letters, with accents, are frequently used:

  • é – e accent aigu (l’accent aigu)
  • è – e accent grave- (L’accent grave)
  • ç – c cedilla makes a soft c sound (La cédille)
  • ë – e accent trema (Le tréma)
  • ò – o accent grave (L’accent grave)
  • ù – u accent grave (L’accent grave)
  • à – a accent grave (L’accent grave)
  • â,ô– circumflex over a letter usually indicates that there once was an s following the letter. However, in the evolution of the language, the s was dropped. (l’accent circonflexe)
  • Some General Notes

  • Letter H is silent.
  • Final e is silent.
  • Final s is usually silent.
  • Final consonants are usually not pronounced with the exception of C, F, L, and R. However, if the final consonant is followed by a word beginning with a vowel then the final consonant is pronounced as if it were the the first letter of the next word. This is called liaison.
  • The stress in always on the last syllable.

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