When should the last consonant be pronounced in French?

One difficulty that often arises for learners of the French language is that many French words end up in a written consonant that is not actually pronounced. For example, French words Beautiful and Hot rhyme, although the second of these ends in a written consonant The first is not so. But at the same time, the situation is unfortunately not as simple as saying that the final consonant is never pronounced. In this article I will give you some tips for deciding when to pronounce the last consonant on a French word.

Very general rule

Before explaining a little more, it is worth mentioning a general rule. Roughly speaking, the French language makes a difference between what I call it The end of the tongue is a consonant And other consonants. The outline is:

  • Except L., The final consonant of the last tongue is not usually pronounced, Excluding contact (see below);
  • last L. And other consonants are more likely to be pronounced.

By End of tongue Consonants, I mean the consonants that are usually pronounced with the front part of the tongue: , T, s, with the, n. (Technically, linguists call this type of consonant a Coronation The part of the tongue that causes contact is not always strictly referred to as the “tip”. But we can use “tongue tip consonant” as an informal, non-technical description.) Try to pronounce one of these consonants so that the front of your tongue touches the front of your mouth.

So as a general rule, the hint consonants of this tongue are not usually pronounced at the end of a word: for example, Wait, NoT, Bs, Birthwith the, Bon, The last consonant is not pronounced. In a final n, This actually signals pre-vocal nasalization, a problem we will mention as we pass but will not go into detail in this article.

Consonant L. Minor exception: Although the tongue is a consonant, it is usually pronounced at the end of a word, occasionally ending with an exception -those (E.g. Kind, Tool)


The upper bouts featured two cutaways, for easier access to the higher frets. Relationship. This is a complex topic, but the basic idea is that the consonant is pronounced before the other word, and the following word is grammatically “closely related”. A typical case of two closely related words would be an adjective and a corresponding noun. While doing so n in well When the word is said in isolation it is not pronounced (even if it is marked) Oh The vowel is nasal), it is pronounced bon Child or a bon Which. Similarly, the end in Great Not usually pronounced, but can be pronounced Great Author. (More rarely, P and R. May also be involved, but is primarily a feature of the tongue consonants.)

A minor complication is that the pronunciation of a relationship consonant may be different than you would expect from a written letter. when s Is pronounced by a conjunction (often occurring between a plural adjective and a noun), which actually represents the letter “z”, in writing x. So wells friends Is pronounced close to.bo ‘z ami“, with a s at the end Good pronounced, as a “z” (i.e., associated with the following vowels), but the s in friends Not pronounced (no vowels below, so no reason to join). In connection with, Is actually pronounced as “t”. So Great author, If Is pronounced, is pronounced “Great Author”.

A few more details and a few exceptions

What we have described so far is a general rule and it is not surprising that there are plenty of exceptions and details to be aware of. Not all of these can go here, but here are a few more detailed rules and patterns that are worth grasping with certain letters. First of all, some more details about the final consonant of the tongue:

: Finally pronounced It And one or two names. the letter Many verbs end in silence (e.g. He takes) However, the When following a pronoun beginning with a vowel, the verb is pronounced at the end (i.e., in reverse Will he take it?, Brother Etc.). At the end of an adjective like Great, -d As mentioned above, a noun beginning with a vowel can be pronounced before, but in reality this is rare in everyday speech.

n (Perhaps written M): These special consonants usually mark Management Nasalization In the former tone, and is not so pronounced; But at the end of “learned” words or loan words, they are bound to be pronounced, e.g. maximumM, Examplen;

s: A few common words that end -s Is expressed as included Son (“Son”) and Management Mars (“March” / “Mars”). Note that the end -s Is published on But (“Corn”) but not on so much (“But”).

T: This article is at the end of many adjectives and verbs, and is not usually pronounced in such cases. But like , When it follows a pronoun beginning with a vowel, should be pronounced at the end of a verb (i.e., in reverse he does, It is said Etc.).

Finally, here are some descriptions of other written consonants at the end of a French word:

c: Practically never pronounced later n At the end of a word (exception: Donc), But some common short words are pronounced at the end, especially With, bag, dry, shock, lake, garden;

f: Normally pronounced, however, it is not pronounced in the end clef (Usually written Key Present), cerf, nerf, And in plural the eggs and Cattle (Also in the singular Management Egg and Beef, last -F Pronounced as expected);

P: For everyday story purposes, you can generally assume it -p A word is not pronounced at the end. Intermediate students are a notable exception Management Disabled. Very occasionally, essentially in a very formal speech, it can finally be expressed in a relationship too much and so many.

R.: Usually pronounced when there is no preposition e (For the flower, the tower Etc.); It is often not pronounced when followed e, Especially at the end of an – is At the verb or at the end – is or a -ier A large number of “long” adjectives and nouns are prefixed (including job titles) Firefighter Etc.); There are a few common acronyms that end there – is Including where it is pronounced Bitter, loving, iron (“Iron”), Pottery and Ceramics Iron (“Proud”), Winter, sea.

x: This article pronounces “ks” at the end of a handful of “learned” words such as: Index. Otherwise, it usually happens to be a silent letter – effectively a variant s– At the end of various common adjectives and nouns. A noun or adjective that begins with a vowel at the end of a plural adjective, with a few other instances, is expressed in the relational process described above. As mentioned above, it is then pronounced as a “z” sound. So oldx friends Will be closely pronounced “vieu-z-ami”.


As we have seen, whether or not to pronounce a final consonant on a French word can be tactical but not entirely arbitrary. By learning some of the rules, we can get a good guarantee in most general cases.

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *