ΠLigature

Ligature

When the letters o and e are pronounced as a single sound,* they combine into a symbol called a ligature: œ. The pronunciation of this symbol depends on the letter(s) that follow it.

  • œ plus any consonant is pronounced [e]
     – except when followed by st, when it’s pronounced [ɛ]
  • œu follows the same pronunciation rules as eu
  • œ followed by il is pronounced like eu – learn more: œil
Par exemple…
un œnologue oenologist
un œsophage esophagus
œstrogène (m) estrogen
un vœu wish
un œuf egg
un cœur heart

  *O and e do not form a ligature when they are pronounced separately, such as when the e is accented – learn more.

 Typing oe when it should be œ is a spelling mistake, so learn how to type accents.

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French accents

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