French pronunciation

The letter combination ti is one of the most variable in French. Since each letter has two possible sounds, the combination has four potential pronunciations, depending on the letters that precede and follow.

1) In consonant + ti + vowel, ti is usually pronounced like an s followed by a y sound (IPA spelling [sj], Lawless phonetic spelling [sy]).

Par exemple…
un dictionnaire dictionary
essentiel essential

2) When vowel + tie is at the end of a word, the pronunciation is [si].

Par exemple…
une démocratie democracy
une idiotie idiocy

3) Ti is pronounced [tj]

  • in the letter combination –sti + vowel
  • in the words amitié, moitié, and pitié (but not initié, in which it’s [sj])
Par exemple…
la question question
la moitié half

4) Ti is pronounced [ti]

  • in the prefix anti-
  • in the letter combination consonant + tie
  • when followed by a consonant
Par exemple…
un antioxydant antioxidant
une partie part
actif active

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French pronunciation

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