French pronunciation

The letter combination en has four possible pronunciations, depending on the letters that precede and follow it.

1. At the end of a syllable after Ă©, i, or y, en is pronounced like the nasal vowel [ɛ̃].

French sound filesPar exemple…
europĂ©en European
vĂ©gĂ©tarien vegetarian

2. After any other letter or on its own (when it’s a preposition or adverbial pronoun), en is pronounced like the nasal vowel [ɑ̃].

French sound filesPar exemple…
un gendre son-in-law
sentir to feel

3. When the n is doubled at the end of a syllable, it’s pronounced [ɛn].

French sound filesPar exemple…
une Canadienne Canadian woman
la moyenne average

4. At the beginning of a word, en is usually pronounced like 2.

French sound filesPar exemple…
ennui (m) boredom
enchantĂ© delighted

But in a few words the two letters are pronounced separately: [e] is the first syllable, then [n] begins the second syllable.

French sound filesPar exemple…
un ennemi enemy
enivrer to intoxicate

 Of course, it’s always pronounced this way when the e has an acute accent:

French sound filesPar exemple…
l’Ă©nergie (f) energy
Ă©norme enormous

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French pronunciation

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