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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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