Accents lecon

French vocabulary & translations (see all)

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Definition

accent aigu : é

É is pronounced like et Pro-tip: Past participles of -er verbs end with é.

J’ai aimé I loved, I have loved
un café serré a ‘tight’ coffee (strong and small)
un éléphant an elephant

accent grave : è, ù, à

The accent grave (the grave accent) is found on the letter eè. It’s pronounced like this: You can also spot accents graves on the letters uù and aà. There’s no change in pronunciation.

faire la grève to be, to go on strike
régulièrement regularly, consistently, on a regular basis
T’es où ? Where are you?
là-bas over there

accent circonflexe : ê, â, î, ô, û

The circumflex accent can be added to the vowels a, e, i, o, u, but doesn’t change the pronunciation of term. For verbs in the nous and vous forms, it signals the passé simple, a very formal French tense. Note that this accent also signals that an ‘s’ was used before a consonant in the ancient French spelling.

un hôpital a hospital
une forêt a forest
nous fûmes conjugaison we were, nous restâmes conjugaison we remained

tréma : ï, ë

The tréma (dieresis) signals that a vowel should be pronounced independently, as a separate letter.

le père Noël Father Christmas, Santa Claus
haïr to hate
le maïs corn

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