French consonant

The letter G has two pronunciations.

1) Soft (in front of E, I, or Y) – pronounced like the g in "massage," identical to the French J. Phonetic symbol: [ʒ]

French sound filesPar exemple…
the letter g
gérer to manage
nous mangeons we eat

2) Hard (in front of A, O, U, or a consonant) – pronounced like the g in "gold." Phonetic symbol: [g]

French sound filesPar exemple…
la gare train station
grand big, tall
guérir to cure

 À noter

  • When G precedes a soft vowel but needs a hard pronunciation, U is added to make it hard.
  • When G precedes a hard vowel but needs a soft pronunciation, as for spelling change verbs, E is added to make it soft.

See vowel lesson "Effect on consonants: hard vs soft" for more info.

 Related lessons

Learn Spanish En español

Learn Italian In italiano

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French pronunciation

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