Languages › French French Consonants - Consonnes françaises Detailed information on the pronunciation of each French consonant Share Flipboard Email Print Cultura RM Exclusive/Philipp Nemenz/Getty Images French Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Grammar Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Updated February 21, 2020 There are a few things to keep in mind when pronouncing French consonants. All but the French R are further forward in the mouth than their equivalents in English.The tongue must remain tensed.There is no initial aspiration when pronouncing French consonants (see specific letters for more information)There is, however, a slight aspiration after pronouncing French consonants. In English, someone might say soup without opening his mouth at the end of the word, thus "swallowing" the last sound. In French, you must open your mouth to complete the word. French consonants can be classified in three ways: 1. Voicing | Sonorité Unvoiced | Sourde The vocal cords do not vibrate (CH, F, K, P, S, T) Voiced | Sonore Vocal cords vibrate (all the rest)Note that many consonants have voiced/unvoiced equivalents (B/P, F/V, etc.) 2. Manner of articulation | Manière d'articulation Plosive | Occlusive Passage of air is blocked to produce the sound (B, D, G, K, P, T) Constrictive | Fricative Passage of air is partially blocked (CH, F, J, R, S, V, Z) Liquid | Liquide Easily join to other consonants to make new sounds (L, R) Nasal | Nasale Passage of air is through both the nose and the mouth (GN, M, N, NG) 3. Place of Articulation | Lieu d'articulation Bilabial | Bilabiale Lips touch to make sound (B, M, P) Labiodental | Labiodentale Top teeth touches lower lip to make sound (F, V) Dental | Dentale Tongue touches upper teeth to make sound (D, L, N, T)* Alveolar | Alvéolaire Tongue is near the front of the mouth (S, Z) Palatal The back of the tongue is near the palate (CH, GN, J) Velar | Vélaire The back of the tongue is against the back of the mouth/upper throat (G, K, NG, R)*The English equivalents of these consonants are alveolar. Summary: Classification of French Consonants v = voiced u = unvoiced Bilabial(v) Bilabial(u) Labiodental(v) Labiodental(u) Dental(v) Dental(u) Alveolar(v) Alveolar(u) Palatal(v) Patalal(u) Velar(v) Velar(u) Plosive B P D T G K Constrictive V F Z S J CH Liquid L R Nasal M N GN NG Assimilation - French Pronunciation French Silent Letters and Pronunciation Understanding the French Language and Using IPA French Vowels (Voyelles Françaises) Introduction to Pronouncing the French Alphabet How to Pronounce More Than 2,500 Words in French Using Enchainement in French Pronunciation Through the Nose: French Nasal Vowels Top French Pronunciation Mistakes and Difficulties Why Spanish Isn't Easier to Learn Than French How Is the Letter 'A' Pronounced in French? How to Pronounce the Letter 'T' in French Pronounce the French R Perfectly How to Conjugate the Irregular French Verb "Haïr" How to Fake a French Accent How to Conjugate the French Stem-Changing Verb 'Épeler'