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French Accents

French Accents


There are four French accents for vowels and one accent for a consonant.



1. The accent aigu ´ (acute accent) can only be on an E. e.g.  année (year) Répétez! (Repeat) Agréable (nice)

2. The accent grave ` (grave accent) can be found on an A, E, or U. e.g. très (a lot), après (later), mère (mother), père (father), déjà (already), où (where)

3. The accent circonflexe ˆ (circumflex) or  chapeau  hat) can be on an A, E, I, O, or U. e.g. être (to be), forêt (jungle), s’il te plaît (please) hôtel (hotel), âne (donkey)

4. The accent tréma ¨ (dieresis) can be on an E, I, or U. It is used when two vowels are next to each other and both must be pronounced, e.g., naïve, Saül.

5. The cédille ¸ (cedilla) is found only on the letter C. It changes a hard C sound (like K) into a soft C sound (like S), e.g., garçon, français. The cedilla is never placed in front of E or I, because C always sounds like an S in front of those vowels (merci, parce que).

It is essential to put accents in their proper places - an incorrect or missing accent is a spelling mistake just as an incorrect or missing letter would be. The only exception to this is capital letters, which are often left unaccented.

Accent aigu Accent grave Accent circonflexe Accent Tréma The cédille
´ ` ˆ ¨ ¸
Éé Èè, Àà, ù Êê, Ââ, Ôô, Îî, Ûû Ëë, Ïï, Üü Çç
à âne façade
Répétez très fête Noël
traîneau naïve
symptôme garçon
mûre Capharnaüm déçu

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French Accents

French Accents

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