Accented Capitals

French capitals with accents
There's a bit of debate with regard to accents on capital letters. Most everyone agrees that accents are required on lower case letters, but some French speakers claim that they are unneccessary or even incorrect on capital letters. Is this true? The answer depends in part on who you ask.

   

Accentonyms

French accentonyms
Some French accents offer pronunciation clues, others refer back to old spellings, and still others differentiate between otherwise identically spelled words. For all of these reasons, accents matter and must be included when writing (or typing) in French - especially in the case of words that have different meanings with and without accents.

Accents

French accentsWhile French has the same alphabet as English, some of the letters have little decorations that can make them look and sound very different. In French, accents are essential: they're there for a reason, so you must include them when writing.

   

   

Alphabet

French alphabetIf you want to read and write in French, one of the first things you should learn is the alphabet. If you're wondering how many letters there are, you're in luck: French has the same 26 letters as English. Unfortunately, most of the names of letters are pronounced differently, as are many of the sounds.

   

Art de la traduction

Art de la traduction
Pour traduire un texte, il faut évidemment une connaissance approfondie des deux langues, mais être bilingue est loin d'être le seul critère.

   

   

   

   

   

Capitalization

French capitalizationThe use of capital letters (les majuscules) is much less common in French than in English. Take a look at this summary of words that are capitalized in English but not in French.

   

Capitalization of Titles

French title capitalizationUnlike most areas of French grammar, the capitalization of French titles of books, movies, etc. does not follow a clearly defined set of rules. Instead, French title capitalization is inconsistent, with competing systems used by writers, publishers, and other authoritative sources.