The letter I has two different pronunciations in French. The explanation and equivalents provided here are based on the closest sounds that exist in American English, which are sometimes not very close at all. Phonetic symbols are provided in [brackets].
1. [i] is the normal pronunciation. It’s kind of like American English’s long e sound, as in "he," but without the diphthong to a "y" sound at the end. When I has an accent, it’s always pronounced this way.
|un gîte||tourist cottage|
2. [j] – the letter I is pronounced like an English y whenever it’s followed by e or o and often when it’s followed by l (learn more). This sound is called a semi-vowel.
- Letter combinations: AI | AIL | EI | EIL | EUIL | IL | IN | IO | ŒIL | TI | UEIL | UIL
- Introduction to vowels
- French alphabet
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