How to pronounce ILLE and IL in French
ILLE and IL in French
The letters IL and ILL often combine to form a unique
sound in French.
But not always…
Discover when these combinations occur and how to pronounce them!
Table of content
When does the combination il occur in French?
The combination of letters il sometimes form a unique sound, similar to the y sound in the word (a boy). But it only happens when il comes at the end of a word, after the vowels a, e or u.
Combination IL in French
At the end of a word, after the vowels a, e and
u, the two letters i and l
combine to form a unique sound.
Here are some examples:
When I And L Don't Combine
Even when they come at the end of a word, the letters i and
l don’t always combine.
Indeed, they will ususally be pronounced separately, after a consonant, or after the vowel o.
In the three following words, the final l can almost be considered as a silent letter:
Two More Words...
It is worth considering two more words, which don’t fit in either case above. In the word il (he / it), the consonant l is pronounced separately. There is no combination:
What about the combined letters ill?
The Letters IL Only Combine At The End Of A Word
So far, we’ve seen that the letters i and l may combine at
the end of a word.
However, they will not combine inside a word. Even after the vowels a, e or u.
The combination will be “broken”. Here is an example:
But you may wonder…
What if we want to get the same y sound inside a word?
In such cases, we’ll need to use the combination ill.
Hear are two examples:
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Work on your French pronunciation with a collection of posts with examples and audio recordings.