French pronunciation

The letter combinations ouil (at the end of a word) and ouill (almost anywhere*) have no English equivalent: they are pronounced like the oo in "boo" plus a "y" sound. The IPA spelling is [uj], and the Lawless phonetic spelling is [uy].

Potential French mistake Do not pronounce this like the word oui: [wi]. It helps to look at the letter combination as ou + il, rather than as oui + l. (The sound [wij] is spelled UIL after a consonant.)

* ouill followed by i (as in the past participle bouilli or the infinitive bouillir) is pronounced [uj] but the y sound is transferred to the next syllable: [bu ji] and [bu jir].

French sound files Par exemple…
le brouillard   fog
le fenouil   fennel
la grenouille   frog
la trouille   fear
bouillir   to boil
chatouiller   to tickle
débrouiller   to untangle

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French pronunciation

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