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Learn French Accents: aigu, grave, circonflexe

French, French vocabulary, French grammar, French culture, about France, about French, français, vocabulaire, learn French, French podcasts, learn French by podcast, French language podcasts, French tutorial, French one on one, French expressions, expressions, e-learning, learning French, French online, France, listening comprehension, dictées, French dictation, frenchetc.org

Ils étudient à l’école.

 

Where do they come from?

In the Middle Ages, French starting losing certain sounds, such as its Ss. Then, French writers started to replace the Ss with an accent. However, not all Frenchmen were writing accents with the same consistency. It is only later on and little by little that the accents became popular in France. However, there was no general rule. As a result, written French of today is not consistent in terms of accents.

In the meantime, English has kept an older form of spelling, keeping Ss. As a result, often – not always – when you see an accent on a French word, the English translation often has kept the original S.

Examples

  • disgusting –> dégoûtant
  • host –> hôte
  • island –> île
  • master –> maître
  • pasta –> pâte
  • school –> école
  • study –> étude
  • task –> tâche

Practice

Fill in the blanks with one of the two words provided.

_______ (La, Là) fête était _______ (a, à) Loguivy-_______(les, lès)-Lannion, _______ (ou, où) les grands-parents avaient la maison familiale. _______ (Les, Lès) fêtes se faisaient toujours _______ (la, là). La _______ (tache, tâche) de France était de mettre la table. Lorsqu’elle _______ (a, à) sorti la nappe _______ (du, dû) buffet, elle s’est aperçue qu’il y avait une _______ (tache, tâche). Elle aurait _______ (du, dû) vérifier avant _______ (ou, où) en choisir une autre.

Get the rules, answers and audio in the Premium worksheet.

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