How to pronounce the French alphabet

The International Phonetic Alphabet can help you improve your French pronunciation. However, if you haven’t learned it yet, no worries! We are including the English phonetic spelling next to each letter.

French alphabet for beginners

a ahh
b bay
c say
d day
e ehh
f eff
g jhay
h ahsh
i ee
j jhee
k kahh
l ehll
m ehmm
n ehnn
o ohh
p pay
q koo
r aihr
s ess
t tay
u ooh
v vay
w doo-bluh-vay
x eex
y ee-grek
z zed

French alphabet songs

Do you have an echoic memory? Euh, pardon ? Echoic, or auditory memory, is a type of memory that retains sounds better, as opposed to iconic, or visual, memory which remembers images more easily. As a language learner, it’s helpful to identify which one is more dominant for you. Or you might be a mix of both!

So, to all echoic memories out there, here are a couple of French alphabet songs.

French alphabet rap

Rap your way to learning the French alphabet!

French alphabet rock

Learn the alphabet in style with this slow pop rock tune.

Classic abc song

Everybody knows this alphabet melody, and it should help you memorize abc in French in no time.

FAQs for the French alphabet

Besides songs, there are many exercises you can do to learn the French alphabet letters. For example, take a look at these free resources including worksheets, games and quizzes. And if this style of learning works for you, French lessons online might help you take your French skills to the next level.

If you have a QWERTY keyboard, you might be missing some French keys such as “é”, “è”, “à”,”œ”, etc. If you have to write in French, that can be a problem. Heureusement, there are solutions.

French shortcuts for PC

Use a sustained key press to enter these codes.

  • Accent aïgue (é): CTRL+‘ (apostrophe), followed by the letter
  • Accent grave (à, è, ù): CTRL+` (key to the left of “1”), followed by the letter
  • Accent circonflèxe (â, ê, î, ô, û): CTRL+Shift-6 followed by the letter
  • Trëma (ë, ï, ü): CTRL+Shift+; followed by the letter
  • Cédille (ç): CTRL+ followed by the letter

If this doesn’t work:

  • Alt+0233 (é)
  • Alt+0224 (à)
  • Alt+0232 (è)
  • Alt+0249 (ù)
  • Alt+0226 (â)
  • Alt+0234 (ê)
  • Alt+0238 (î)
  • Alt+0244 (ô)
  • Alt+0251 (û)
  • Alt+0235 (ë)
  • Alt+0239 (ï)
  • Alt+0252 (ü)
  • Alt+0231 (ç)

French shortcuts for Mac

  • Accent aïgue (é): Option + E
  • Accent grave (à, è, ù): Option + ` followed by the letter
  • Accent circonflèxe (â, ê, î, ô, û): Option + I followed by the letter
  • Trëma (ë, ï, ü): Option+u followed by the letter
  • Cédille (ç): Option + C

Accents aside, the French alphabet is quite easy to learn. However, the difference between “j” and “g” can be confusing for English and French speakers alike. French humorist Gad Elmaleh explains it in this hilarious video.

Tips for learning the French alphabet


1. Apply French alphabet letters in real situations

As for any other aspect of a language, the best way to learn and remember is to apply the language in real situations.

But if you are not in a French-speaking country at the moment, pas de problème. You can simulate real situations with your fellow French learners, or even on your own - for example, a phone conversation where you need to spell your name and phone number. Great to learn both French numbers and letters!

2. Practice daily with one of the French alphabet songs above or a pronunciation guide

Don’t be embarrassed to sing or repeat out loud.

3. Organize a spelling bee with your friends

Awaken the nerd in you by organizing a spelling bee with friends or other French learners.

With these tips to learn the French alphabet and a bit of practice, you will master the French alphabet de A à Z.

And if you film yourself singing French alphabet songs or simulating a French conversation between you and yourself, we would love to see it! Remember to tag us on social media.