French pronunciation

The letter combination eu has three possible pronunciations, two of which are very similar.

1) When it’s the past participle of avoir, eu is pronounced like u.

French sound files Par exemple…
  ils ont eu they had

2) In an open syllable (ends in vowel sound), eu is pronounced much like "u" in the English word "put" – listen. Phonetic symbol: [ø]

bleu blue
deux two
monsieur sir, Mr.

3) In a closed syllable (ends in consonant sound), the mouth is a little more open, like in the English word "hurt" – listen. Phonetic symbol: [œ]

une heure hour
eau gazeuse sparkling water
un fleuve river


  • The ligature œ plus u (œu) follows rules 2 and 3.
  • The letter combination euil has its own pronunciation rules.

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French pronunciation

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