French consonant

The letter C has two pronunciations:

1) Soft – In front of a soft vowel, C is pronounced like the S in "say." Phonetic symbol: [s]

French sound files Par exemple…
the letter c
une cerise   cherry
merci   thank you

2) Hard – In front of a hard vowel or a consonant, C is pronounced like a K. Phonetic symbol: [k]

French sound files Par exemple…
le cadeau   gift
le sucre   sugar

 When C precedes a hard vowel but needs a soft pronunciation, ç (cédille) is added to make it soft. That’s why ç is only used in front of the hard vowels A, O, or U, never in front of the soft vowels E, I, or Y.

French sound files Par exemple…
ça va ?   how are you?
le reçu   receipt

 Related lessons

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French pronunciation

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