Vous recherchez des Cours d'Anglais? Cliquez-ici.

“e”, “é” or “è” ?

In French, there are 3 different accents on « e ». It is important to know them as it changes the pronunciation of the word.

The 3 accents:

“é”: acute accent like : été (summer)

“è”: grave accent like accès (access)

“ê”: circumflex accent like tête (head), less used

So how to know which accent is the right one, here are few tips :

  • “e” before the last consonant of the word : NO accent

Example : fier (proud), sec (dry), assez (enough), pied (foot).

Except when the last consonant is “s” : accès (access), abcès (abscess)….

  • “e” before an “x”: NO accent

Example : exercice (exercise), flexible, silex (flint)

  • « e » before 2 or more consonants (which are linked liked double consonants like “ll” / “ff” or more than 2 consonants like “thn” / “sch” / “rsp”: NO accent

Example : effort, letter (letter), appellation (name/title), belle (beautiful), perspicace (perceptive), ethnologue (ethnologist), quetsche (damson plum)

  • BUT there is an accent when the 2 consonants following “e” are making 1 sound like “ch” / “gn” / “th” / “ph” as if it was only 1 consonant.

Example: flèche (arrow), régner (to reign), éléphant

  • BUT there is an accent when the 2nd consonant is “l” or “r”

Example : négliger (to neglect/overlook), zèbre (zebra), trèfle (clover)

  • “é” : acute accent when the “e” is the first letter of the word or the last letter of the word

Example : éléphant, élever (to raise children), électricité (electricity), blé (wheat), oublié (forgotten), clé (key)

  • « é » : acute accent when the following syllable has no silent “e”

Example: sécurité (security), régal (delight)

  • “é”: acute accent when the “e” is part of the syllable: dé-, mé-, pré-

Example : veloper (to develop), se fier (to mistrust), prévenir (to prevent)

  • “è” : grave accent when the next syllable has a mute “e”

Example : solfège (solfeggio), règlement (regulation, rules, payement), fièrement (proudly), il achète (he buys)

  • « è » : grave accent when the last consonant of the word is an “s” (not a plural)

Example : après (after), succès (success)

If you read several times these tips, you will always know if the “e” required an accent or not because French is a complex language but with lots of logical rules!

Let’s practice your “e, é, è” !


Pronunciation

PRONUNCIATION   There is nothing worse than knowing the right word but once you pronounce it, people don’t understand you !! So let’s have a look at a few pronunciation rules. Once you know how to pronounce the word, your brain identifies it very rapidly when it hears it, so by…

Continue Reading

VOUS vs TU

VOUS or TU ??   How embarrassing not to know which one to use ? Is there a rule, how do the French know which one to use ?   You are speaking to an adult : If the person is a family member = TU If the person is not a family member…

Continue Reading

Grammar for Dummies Nous vs On

Nous / On    What’s the difference bewteen « nous » and « on » ? Is there any ? NOUS = ON In reality in 90% of the cases, they both mean « we » in English. When speaking, the French tend to use less and less the « nous » form as it is always longer to pronounce. Give…

Continue Reading

Devoir and its many facets

The verb « devoir » = to must, to have The verb “devoir” is an irregular verb with various meanings. Je dois Tu dois Il/elle doit Nous devons Vous devez Ils/ells doivent   1st meaning : the notion of debt in the literal and figurative meanings : Combien est-ce que je vous…

Continue Reading

Vous recherchez des Cours d'Anglais? Cliquez-ici.