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12. û is the u with a prolonged sound. due; crû, growth; brûler, to burn. 13. y. See 29, y, page 20.


position which they should have in emitting the French u. Ex. urne, urn; lune, moon; but, aim; tribu, tribe; tribut, tribute; élu, elected.

Ex. mûre, mulberry; dû,


1. (a) Table, table; fable, fable; chat, cat; éclat, splendor; arbre, tree; tard, late; balle, ball.

2. (â) âme, soul; blâme, blame; bâtir, to build: pâte, paste; âge, age; mât, mast.

3. (e) me, me; de, of; que, that; elle, she; malle, mail; parle, speak; fourche, fork; salle, hall.


4. (é) pré, meadow; allé, gone; donné, given; passé, passée, past; élevé, raised; armée, army.

5. (è) très, very; après, after; achète, buy; mère, mother; espère, hope; lève, raise; chère, fare; chèvre, goat.

6. (ê) même, same; carême, Lent; arrêt, arrest; tempête, tempest; tête, head; bête, beast.

7. (i) lit, bed; dit, said; dire, to say; lire, to read; lime, file; cire, wax; rite, rite.

8. (î) dîner, to dine; île, isle; dîme, tithe; abîme, abyss; épître, epistle; gîte, lodging..

9. (0) mot, word; cachot, dungeon; repos, rest; trot, trot; globe, globe; carrosse, coach.

10. (ô) tôt, soon; plutôt, rather; rôti, roast meat; dépôt, deposit, prévôt, provost.

11. (u) bu, drank; cru, believed; du, of the; élu, elected; menu, minute; prévu, foreseen; écu, crown.

12. (û) chûte, fall; brûlot, fireship; mûr, ripe; dûment, duly; il fût, he might be; nous fûmes, we were.


A vowel surmounted by a diæresis (·) cannot form a diph thong with another vowel; it is pronounced separately. Ex., haïr-Exception: ë at the end of a few words, such as cigue, hemlock, is silent, the u being pronounced like û.

E accented (é) and followed by a vowel, is pronounced separately. Ex. obéir, to obey; géant, giant.

16. ai, ei, preceding a liquid 7 (see Consonants, 13) do not form a

diphthong; a is then pronounced as in mat, and e as ai in pair. The i seems merely to indicate the liquid sound of the 7. Ex. paille, straw; oreille, ear.

17. ai is like a in fate. Ex. j'ai, I have; je ferai, I will make; baie, bay; mai, May; balai, broom.

When the diphthong ai is followed by a final s, d, or t, it assumes a broader sound, resembling the French è, or e in the English word met. Ex. j'avais, I had; je ferais, I should make; lait, milk; laid, ugly.

18. au nearly like oh! in English. Ex. taux, rate; chaud, warm. E preceding au is blended with that diphthong without changing its sound. Ex. beau, handsome; château, castle; tableau, picture; eau, water.

19. ei nearly like a in fate. Ex. beige, serge; neige, snow; seigle, rye; reine, queen; peigne, comb.

20. eu approaches the sound of u in muff. Ex. jeu, play; lieu, place; peu, little; peur, fear; chaleur, heat. Exceptions, in eu, had; j'eus, &c., I had; j'eusse, etc., I might have; eu is pronounced like u alone.

21. ia nearly like ia in medial. Ex. il lia, he bound; il cria, he cried; dialogue, dialogue.

22. ie like ee in bee. Ex. il lie, he binds; il étudie, he studies; harpie, harpy; mie, the soft part of bread.

23. oi nearly like wa in was. Ex. croix, cross; il boit, he drinks; roi, king.

24. ou like oo in cool. Ex. doux, soft; coup, blow; nous, we; vous, you; cou, neck.

25. ua

26. ue

27. ui

have no corresponding

sound in English.

Examples of the French


Il salua, he saluted; il remua, he moved; il contribua, he contributed.

Il salue, he salutes; il remue, he moves; il contribue, he contributes.

produit, produce; conduite, conduct; lui, him; bruit, noise; il réduit, he reduces.

28. uo

duo, duet.

29. y when initial, when coming between two consonants, or when forming a syllable of itself, has the sound of the French i. Ex. style, style; type, type; yeux, eyes; Ypres, Ypres; y, there. Between two vowels y has the power of two is, one of which forms a diphthong with the preceding, and the other with the following vowel; the syllabic division taking place between the i's. Ex. moyen, means; essayer, to try; nettoyer, to clean; citoyen, citizen; abbaye, abbey; these words are pronounced


17. (ai) je donnai, I gave ; je parlerai, I will speak; j'allai, I went ; je cherchai, I sought; je menai, I led ; j'irai, I will go.

(ais) je donnais, I was giving; je parlerais, I would speak; j'allais, I was going; je cherchais, I was seeking; je menais, I was leading; j'irais, I would go.

as if they were written moi-ien, essai-ier, nettoi-ier, citoi-ien, abbai-ie. The words, pays, country; paysage, landscape; paysan, peasant, are pronounced pé-is, pé-isage, pé-isan.

18. (au, eau) maux, evils; chameau, camel; chevaux, horses; beau, handsome; nouveau, new; troupeau, flock.

19. (ei) neige, snow; veine, vein; reine, queen; Seine, Seine; je peigne, I comb; sein, bosom.

20. (eu) peu, little; peur, fear; leur, their; il meurt, he dies; sœur, sister; œuf, egg; lueur, light.

J'eus, I had; tu eus, thou hadst; il eut, he had;

(eu) like u. eu, had. 21. (ia) liant, binding; il lia, he bound; partial, partial; il cria, he cried; il nia, he denied; il pria, he prayed.

22. (ie) garantie, guarantee; il prie, he prays; il lie, he binds; il rie, he may laugh; il nie, he denies.

23. (oi) loi, law; moi, me; il voit, he sees; il boit, he drinks; roi, king; droit, right; il croit, he believes.

24. (ou) bout, end; il coud, he sews; il moud, he grinds; coupe, cup; loup, wolf; coup, blow; croute, crust.


25. (ua) nuage, cloud; nuance, shade; il salua, he saluted; il remua, he moved; il contribua, he contributed.

26. (ue) nue, cloud; lue, f. read; reçue, f. received; il salue, he salutes; il remue, he moves.

27. (ui) lui, him; luisant, shining; cuire, to bake; cuit, baked; nuire, to injure; produire, to produce.


29. (y) thyrse, thyrsus; type, type; style, style; yeux, eyes; Yvetot, Yvetot; payer, to pay; envoyer, to send; abbaye, abbey; essayer, to try; pays, country; paysage, landscape; paysan, peasant.


The combination of the vowels with the consonant m or n produces what the French call le son nasal, the nasal sound. When the consonant m or n is doubled, or is immediately fol

32. am





an, year; banc, bench; dans, in; manteau, cloak.

membre, limb; emporter, to carry away ; trembler, to tremble.

en, in; dent, tooth; prendre, to take; rendre, to render.

33. en final is sometimes pronounced like en in then. Ex. Eden, Eden.
34. en in the third person plural of verbs is silent. Ex. ils lisent,
ils portent, ils donnent; pronounce ils liz, ils port, ils donn.
35. en after i at the end of a word, is pronounced nearly like an in
sank, crank. Ex. bien, well; lien, tie; rien, nothing.
somewhat timbre, stamp; impossible, impossible; im-
portant, important.

like an in

lin, flax; pin, pine; crin, horse-hair; vin,



36. im



38. um


lowed by a vowel,' the nasal sound does not take place. Ex. innocent, innocent; immobile, immovable; inutile, useless; inouï, unheard of. The syllables in and im in the words innocent and immobile, are pronounced nearly as in English; the syllabic division2 of i-nu-ti-le and i-nou-ï, will explain the reason of the absence of the nasal sound in those words. ample, ample; chambre, chamber; lampe, lamp.




like an in
pant, want.

nearly like

on in song,

wrong. nearly like

un in hunt


humble, humble; parfum, perfume.

un, one; chacun, each one; importun, importunate.


Innocent, innocent; inutile, useless; dîner, dinner; immortel, immortal; une, one; tune, moon; dunes, downs.

32. am ambre, amber; chambre, chamber; Adam, Adam; ramper, to

creep; ample, ample; lampe, lamp.

an tante, aunt; manteau, cloak; plan, plan; plancher, floor; rang, rank; sang, blood; enfant, child.

tombe, tomb; comble, height; sombre, dark; tomber, to fall.

mon, my; ton, thy; son, his; bond, bound; pont, bridge.

1 The words ennui, ennuyer, emmener, enivrer, enorgueillir, form exceptions to this rule. The first syllable of ennui, ennuyer, emmener, is nasal; enivrer, enorgueillir are pronounced en-nivrer, en-orgueillir.

• For the division of words into syllables, see Reading Lessons, page 474.


en sentir, to feel; tente, tent; pente, declivity; je rends, I render; je prends, I take; je sens, I feel.

33. en amen, amen; specimen, specimen.

34. en ils donnent, they give; ils parlent, they speak; ils écrivent they write; ils cherchent, they seek.

35. ien le mien, mine; le tien, thine; le sien, his.

36. im simple, simple; timbre, stamp; daim, deer; faim, hunger; imposteur, impostor; important, important.

in fin, fine; pain, bread; demain, to morrow; crin, horse-hair; vin, wine; bain, bath; teindre, to dye; peindre, to paint.

37. om sombre, dark; nom, name; ombre, shadow; tombe, tomb;

nombre, number; comble, height.


em remplir, to fill; temple, temple; temps, weather; assemblée, assembly; trembler, to tremble; membre, limb. humble, humble; parfum, perfume; humblement, humbly. un lundi, Monday; brun, brown; alun, alum; emprunter, to borrow; importun, importunate; un, one.


on pont, bridge; honte, shame; montre, watch; raison, reason ; maison, house; fondre, to melt; non, no.




Ar the beginning of words or syllables, most consonants are sounded as in English.

A final consonant is generally silent. The letters c, f, 1, r, however, when final, are generally pronounced.

The final consonant of a word is generally carried to the next word, when that word begins with a vowel or an h mute. (See 10, h.)


For illustrations and exceptions, see the several letters.

5. B initial is pronounced as in English. In the middle of words, and at the end of proper names, b is sounded. Ex. abdiquer, to abdicate, Job, Caleb, &c. B is also pronounced in radoub, refitting of a vessel, and rumb, (pronounced romb,) point of the compass. It is silent in plomb, lead; aplomb, perpendicularity. When b is doubled, only one of these letters is pronounced. Ex. abbé, abbot; sabbat.

6. C has its proper sound (k) before a, o, u, 1, n, r.

Ex. cabane,

cottage; cou, neck; écu, crown; enclin, inclined; Cnéius, Cneius; croire, to believe.

c before e and i, and with the cedilla (c) before a, o, or u, has

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