The French Pronunciation of E

Big "E"
Orin Zebest/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The French letter E can be pronounced several different ways — such as the schwa sound, a long A sound, and short E sounds. Below are examples of the different sounds and sound files to hear the way they're spoken.

Examples of the Various E Sounds

  • Like the E in angel (like a schwa) — listen. This sound is often heard in single syllable words like le, me, etc.
  • Like the vowel sound in "weigh" except without the y sound at the end — listen. This sound occurs in the following:
    E with an acute accent: été
    E in an open syllable (i.e., a syllable that ends in a vowel sound): trajet
    the verb endings -er and -ez: manger, veuillez.
  • Like the E in bed — listen. This sound is found in the following:
    E with a grave accent: exprès
    E with a circumflex: tête
    E followed by a double consonant: belle
    E in a closed syllable (a syllable that ends in a consonant sound): sept
  • An unaccented E at the end of a word is called an E muet and may or may not be pronounced.

French Words With E

Click on the links below to hear the words pronounced in French:

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Team, ThoughtCo. "The French Pronunciation of E." ThoughtCo, Dec. 6, 2021, Team, ThoughtCo. (2021, December 6). The French Pronunciation of E. Retrieved from Team, ThoughtCo. "The French Pronunciation of E." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 28, 2023).