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Encyclopedia > French alphabet

The French alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet. It uses the standard 26 letters. The words in the column "Letter name in French" are sometimes used when discussing the letters (compare English words such as "aitch"). Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz redirects here. ...


Letter names

This article is part of the series on: Image File history File links Flag_of_La_Francophonie. ...

French language French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ...

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Letter Letter name
Pronunciation Spelling
A /ɑ/ a
B /be/ hiet
C /se/
D /de/
E /ə/ e
F /ɛf/ effe
G /ʒe/
H /aʃ/ ache
I /i/ i
J /ʒi/ ji
K /ka/ ka
L /ɛl/ elle
M /ɛm/ emme
N /ɛn/ enne
O /o/ o
P /pe/
Q /ky/ cu
R /ɛʁ/ erre
S /ɛs/ esse
T /te/
U /y/ u
V /ve/
W /dublə ve/ double vé
X /iks/ ixe
Y /igʁɛk/ i grec
Z /zɛd/ zède

Dialects of the French language are spoken in France and around the world. ... Motto Égalité, Complémentarité, Solidarité Members and participants of La Francophonie. ... French is a Romance language (meaning that it is descended from Latin) that evolved out of the Gallo-Romance dialects spoken in Northern France. ... The Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts expanded the central control of the French state The Ordinance of Villers-Cotterêts is an extensive piece of reform legislation signed into law by François I of France on August 10, 1539 in the city of Villers-Cotterêts. ... French has a grammar similar to that of the other Romance languages. ... French adverbs, like their English counterparts, are used to modify adjectives, other adverbs, and verbs or clauses. ... In French, articles and determiners are required on almost every common noun; much more so than in English. ... French pronouns are inflected to indicate their role in the sentence (subject, direct object, and so on), as well as to reflect the person, gender, and number of their referrents. ... Personal pronouns in French: The French possessive pronouns (mon, ma, mes, ton, ta, tes, son, sa, ses, notre, notre, nos, votre, votre, vos, leur, leur, leurs) are technically adjectives because they decline into masculine, feminine and plural forms and further agree with their heads (not their antecedents). ... French verbs are a complex area of French grammar, with a conjugation scheme that allows for three finite moods (with anywhere from one to five synthetic tenses), three non-finite moods, three voices, and two aspects. ... Main article: French verbs French verbs are divided into three conjugations (conjugaisons) by the ending of their infinitives: -er verbs, -ir verbs, and -re verbs. ... In French, a verb is inflected to reflect its mood and tense, as well as to agree with its subject in person and number. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... The orthography of French was already more or less fixed, and from a phonological point of view outdated, when its lexicography developed in the late 17th century and the Académie française was mandated to establish an official prescriptive norm. ... The circumflex (^) is one of the five diacritics used in the French language. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... In French, elision (from elide, to leave out or omit) refers to the practise of combining two logically separate words into one for the convenience of pronunication in live conversation. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... For other uses of A, see A (disambiguation). ... For other uses of B, see B (disambiguation). ... Look up C, c in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see D (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see E (disambiguation). ... Look up F, f in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see G (disambiguation). ... Look up H, h in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up I, i in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see J (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see K (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see L (disambiguation). ... For other uses of M, see M (disambiguation). ... Look up N, n in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up O, o in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the Latin alphabet letter. ... This article is about the Latin alphabet letter. ... Look up R, r in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up S, s in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see T (disambiguation). ... For other uses of U, see U (disambiguation). ... Look up V, v in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up W, w in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see X (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Y (disambiguation). ... Look up Z, z in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

La nouvelle épellation

In la nouvelle épellation system, the consonant letters were read as follows: be, ke, de, fe, gue, he, je, ke, le, me, ne, pe, ke, re, se, te, ve, we, kse, ze. Though more phonetically based than the traditional system, it never took hold.[1]


Special ligatures exist for some words: It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Ligature (palaeography). ...

  • œ (œil, fœtus, bœuf...)
  • æ (et cætera, tænia, ex æquo...)

Œ œ This page is about the ligature, not the simple combination of the letters O and E. For initialisms and the word Oe, see Oe. ... For the article on , the Irish writer, see: George William Russell , or , is a vowel and a grapheme used in the Icelandic, Danish, Faroese and Norwegian alphabets. ...


  • 'W' and 'K' are rarely used except in loan words or regional words, 'ou' is used to represent the /w/ sound;
  • vowels are A, E, I, O, U, sometimes Y;
  • semi-vowels are Y, rarely W (except regionally, for instance in Belgium);
  • usual diacritic marks are acute ( ´ ), grave ( ` ), circumflex ( ˆ ), diaeresis (called tréma in French) ( ¨ ), and the cedilla ( ¸ ). The most frequent combinations are: à â ç é è ê ë î ï ô û ù ü ÿ. Diacritics have no impact on the primary alphabetical order.
  • the tilde diacritical mark ( ˜ ), used only above n, is occasionally used with the French alphabet, for well-known words or terms of Spanish origin that have been incorporated in the language (El Niño, cañon, ...) even though they also have an alternate orthography (with "gn" or "ny" instead of "-ñ-"). Like the other diacritics, the tilde has no impact on the primary alphabetical order.

A loanword (or a borrowing) is a word taken in by one language from another. ... A diacritic mark or accent mark is an additional mark added to a basic letter. ... The acute accent (   ) is a diacritic mark used in many modern written languages with alphabets based on the Latin and Greek scripts. ... The grave accent ( ` ) is a diacritic mark used in written Greek until 1982 (polytonic orthography), French, Catalan, Welsh, Italian, Vietnamese, Scottish Gaelic, Norwegian, Portuguese and other languages. ... The circumflex ( ˆ ) (often called a caret, a hat or an uppen) is a diacritic mark used in written Greek, French, Dutch, Esperanto, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovak, Vietnamese, Japanese romaji, Welsh, Portuguese, Italian, Afrikaans and other languages, and formerly in Turkish [citation needed]. It received its English name from Latin circumflexus (bent... In linguistics, a, diaeresis, or dieresis (AE) (from Greek (diaerein), to divide) is the modification of a syllable by distinctly pronouncing one of its vowels. ... A cedilla is a hook (¸) added under certain consonant letters as a diacritical mark to modify their pronunciation. ... For the baseball player known as the Big Tilde, see Magglio Ordóñez. ... Chart of ocean surface temperature anomaly [°C] during the last strong El Niño in December 1997 El Niño and La Niña (also written in English as El Nino and La Nina) are major temperature fluctuations in surface waters of the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean. ...

See also

Variants of the Latin alphabet are used by the writing systems of many languages throughout the world. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


  1. ^ Grevisse, Maurice (1980). Le Bon Usage: Grammaire française avec des Remarques sur la langue française d'aujourd'hui, 11th ed., Paris-Gembloux: Duculot. ISBN 2-8011-0242-3. 

Maurice Grevisse (October 7, 1895—July 4, 1980) is a Belgian grammarian. ...

External links

  • Simple French pronunciation of alphabet and rules

  Results from FactBites:
Alphabet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2648 words)
The term "alphabet" is used by linguists and paleographers in a wider and a narrower sense.
The earliest known alphabet in the wider sense is the Wadi el-Hol script, believed to be an abjad, which through its successor Phoenician became the ancestor of or inspiration for all later alphabets; the first alphabet in the narrower sense was the Greek alphabet.
French, with its silent letters and its heavy use of nasal vowels and elision, may seem to lack much correspondence between spelling and pronunciation, but its rules on pronunciation are actually consistent and predictable with a fair degree of accuracy.
  More results at FactBites »



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