French pronunciation

The letter combination il has various pronunciations depending on what precedes it. Phonetic symbols are provided in [brackets].

Il is pronounced [il]

  • on its own
  • when preceded by a consonant
  • in the letter combination "consonant + uil" (but not uille*)
Par exemple…
il   he
film   movie
huile (f)   oil

When preceded by any other vowel, the l in il is pronounced [j], as in all of these letter combinations (click for lessons and sound files):

Combination   Example
   ail   le bail lease
  eil   le soleil sun
  euil   le deuil mourning
  œil   un œil eye
  ouil   le fenouil fennel
  ueil   un accueil welcome

* L is also pronounced [j] in all vowel + ille combinations, including uille.

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French pronunciation
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