UEIL and UEILL

French pronunciation

The letter combinations ueil (at the end of a word) and ueill (almost anywhere*) have no English equivalent: they are pronounced like the oo in "foot" plus a "y" sound. The IPA spelling is [œj], and the Lawless phonetic spelling is [ooy].

* ueill followed by i (as in the past participle cueilli and the infinitive cueillir) is pronounced [œj] but the y sound is transferred to the next syllable: [kœ ji] and [kœ jir].

French sound files Par exemple…
orgueil (masc)   pride
un accueil   reception, welcome
un cercueil   coffin
un recueil   collection
cueillir   to gather

  The sound [œj] is spelled ueil only after the letters c and g. To understand why, see the "hard and soft vowels" section of the vowels lesson.

Other spellings:

  1. After any other letter, [œj] is spelled euil
  2. At the beginning of a word, [œj] is spelled œil

 Related lessons

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French pronunciation
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