French Alphabet

The French alphabet, or l'alphabet, is based on the Latin alphabet with 26 letters, uppercase and lowercase, with 20 consonants and six vowels. In addition, there are five diacritics— a glyph added to a letter to change the sounds of letters (i.e., an accent). There are also two ligatures, where two or more letters are joined as a single glyph, such as æ and œ used in English and French.

The letters "w" and "k" are rarely used in French except in loanwords— words borrowed from another language without translation— and regional words. "K" is most commonly used for the prefix "kilo."

The French and English alphabets are essentially the same. The largest difference is the pronunciation of the letters. For example, "b, c, d" in English is "bee, cee, dee," but in French, it is pronounced, "bé, cé, dé." Another large difference is "y" in French is "i grec."

Letter
Pronunciation
Examples
A/ah/ - the sound in 'spa'aller (ah-lay) means 'to go'
B/beh/ - similar to 'bay'une batte (eeoon baht) means 'a bat'
C/seh/ - similar to 'say' (C or S sound)un couteau (uh koo-toh) means 'a knife
D/deh/ - similar to 'day'dormir (dohr-meer) means 'to sleep'
E/uh/ - the sound in 'wool'les cheveux (lay shuh-vuh) means 'hair'
F/eff/ - similar to Englishfort (fohr) means 'strong'
G/zheh/ - similar to the g in 'massage'le gaz (luh gahz) means 'gas'
H/ah-sh/ - said like 'osh' in gosh, usually silent in French but there are a few words with an aspirated 'h'-l'huile (lweel) means oil, and the 'h' is silent -le haricot (luh ah-ree-koh) means 'the bean'
I/ee/ - the sound in geekfinir (fee-neer) means 'to finish'
J/zhee/ - similar to jheejouer (zhoo-ay) means 'to play'
K/kah/ sounds like English (rarely used in French)un kangourou (uh kahn-goo-roo) means kangaroo
L/ell/ - sounds like Englishun livre (uh lee-vruh) means 'a book'
M/ehm/ - sounds like Englishmon ami (moh-nahm-ee) means 'my friend'
N/ehn/ - similar to English, sometimes nasalla naissance (lah nay-ssahnss) means 'birth'
O/oh/ - similar to Englishun ordinateur (uh- nohr-dee-nah-tuhr) means 'a computer'
P/peh/ - said like the 'pu' in 'put'payer (pay-ay) means 'to pay'
Q/keoo/ - said like KEE with rounded lipsqui (kee) means 'who'
R/ehr/ - guttural throat 'r', like garglingun renard (uh rruh-nahrr) means 'a fox'
S/ess/ - usually one 's' sounds like 'z' double 's' sounds like 's'un poisson (uh pwah--ssohn) means 'a fish' du poison (deeoo pwah-zohn) means 'some poison'
T/teh/ - said like 'tay'une tarte (eeoon tarr-tuh) means 'a pie'
U/eew/ - said like EE with rounded lipsune ruse (eeoon reeooz) means 'a joke or trick'
V/veh/ - said like 'vay'une voiture (eeoon vwah-teeoor) means 'a car'
W/doobluh veh/ - sounds similar to double vay (rarely used in French)un wagon-lit (uh vahgohn lee) or (uh wah-gohn-lee) means a train car for sleeping
X/eeks/ - similar to Englishune exercise (eeoon ehks-ehr-see-ss) means 'an exercise'
Y/ee grehk/ - sounds like EE then gr-ekun yaourt (uh yah-oo-rt) means 'a yogurt'
Z/zehd/ - sounds like zedun zèbre (uh zeh-bruh) means 'a zebra'