The letter combination oe may be pronounced as a single sound (in which case the two vowels merge into the œ ligature) or as two separate sounds, explained here.
When o and e are pronounced separately, there’s often some kind of accent on the e.
Note that in poêle
, as well as boette
, below, the o is pronounced as a semi-vowel [w].
In many words, it’s easy to tell that the vowels are pronounced separately because o is at the end of a prefix.
But there are a few words without any visual clue for the separate pronunciation:
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