EN

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 é, i, or y (as in bien), en is pronounced nasally like in.

2. After any other letter (as in sens) or on its own (when it’s a preposition or adverbial pronoun), en is pronounced nasally like an.

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

Par exemple…
une Canadienne   Canadian woman
la moyenne   average

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

Par exemple…
ennui (m)   boredom
enchanté   delighted

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

Par exemple…
un ennemi   enemy
enivrer   to intoxicate

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

Par exemple…
l’énergie (f)   energy
énorme   enormous

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French pronunciation
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