Languages › French French Pronunciation of the Double L Share Flipboard Email Print Tom Merton / Getty Images French Pronunciation & Conversation Vocabulary Grammar Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Updated February 24, 2019 In French, the double L is sometimes pronounced like an L and other times like a Y. How do you know when to pronounce it each way? This lesson explains the general rules and the inevitable exceptions. Rules for Pronouncing LL As a general rule, the double L after A, E, O, U, and Y is pronounced like an L: une balle, elle, mollement, une idylle, etc. If there are exceptions to this, I've never found them. In words with I followed by LL, the rules are a bit more complicated. The double L is always pronounced like a Y in letter combinations with vowel + ILL: aill (e.g., taille)eill (oreille)euill (feuille)œill (œillet)ouill (grenouille)ueill (cueillir)uill (juillet) And LL is pronounced like a Y in words such as fille, la Bastille, Millau, and chantilly. However, there are also many words in which the double L is pronounced like an L (follow links to hear the words pronounced). This is the complete list: un bacille - germ, bacillusbillevesées - nonsenseun billion - trillioncapillaire - capillaryun codicille - codicildistiller - to distillune fibrille - small fiber (fibrillaire, fibrillation)*un krill - krillLille - town in northern Francelilliputien - Liliputianmille - thousand (un millénium, millier, etc.)un mille - mile (le millage)milli- (prefix)un milliard - billion (un milliardaire, le milliardième, etc.)un million - million (un millionaire, le millionième, etc.)osciller - to oscillate, swingun/e pupille* - ward of the stateune pupille* - pupilune scille - scillaune spongille - spongillatranquille - calm, tranquilun verticille - verticilun vexille - vexillumune ville - town (une villa, un village, etc.)une zorille - zorilla The (parentheses) indicate derivations which are also pronounced like an L. *These words may be pronounced either way.