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How to pronounce the letter S in French

French S

One letter, three ways to pronounce it!

Let’s discover all the rules behind the pronunciation of the letter s in French.

Table of content

The usual way to pronounce s in French (hard sound)

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The most common way to pronounce the French s is the same as in English.

For example:

le sol (the floor)

un sac (a bag)

The soft pronunciation of the consonant s

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However, when the French s is placed between two vowels, it is pronounced as a z.

une rose (a rose)

une maison (a house)

Silent s in French

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When it comes at the end of a word, the letter s is usually silent.

Plural Marks And Verb Endings

In particular, when the letter s is used as a plural mark or a verb ending, it is always silent. For example:

des bananes (bananas)

tu vas où? (where are you going?)

Other cases

In the other cases, the final s is also silent, most of the time.

trois (three)

le bois (the wood)

une fois (one time)

There are very few examples to this rule:

un bus (a bus)

du maïs (corn)

How to pronounce ss?

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The double ss should be pronounced like the English s (hard form). In French, we mainly use a double ss between two vowels, in order to “break” the z sound, coming from the rule above (soft pronunciation of the consonant s).

une tasse (a cup)

une assiette (a plate)


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