Grammar,  Lessons

The French Alphabet

The French language uses an alphabet that is identical to the English alphabet. The names of the letters and their sounds are not the same however! Compare the French letter names with their English counterparts.

(Please note that the guides to pronunciation only give a rough idea of what things really sound like in French. Listen to the podcast to hear the correct pronunciation.)
A – ah
B – bay
C – say
D – day
E – uh
F – eff
G – zhay*
H – ash
I – ee
J – zhee*
K – kah
L – el
M – em
N – en
O – oh
P – pay
Q – koo
R – ayr
S – es
T – tay
U – ooh
V – vay
W – DOO-bluh-vay
X – eeks
Y – ee-GREK
Z – zed

* zh sounds like “g” in beige or “s” in measure.

What letter names are the same in French?
What letter names are different?

Notice that the name for “W” is like double-V instead of double-U as in English. This makes sense to me!

The name for “Y” is interesting in French. It means “Greek i”. The letter Y looks like the Greek upper case alphabet letter upsilon.

Visit our sponsor Nallenart for French curriculum and teaching aids.

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