The "œ" in French

Hello! I've been taking French for 6 years, and I am still confused about the accent "œ." How do you pronounce it?

Thanks, Lucy

May 10, 2017


It is pronounced like 'eu'. So in 'cœur' and 'sœur', the 'u' is a bit redundant. They are pronounced like 'keur' and 'seur'. As for 'œil', it is pronounced like 'euy'.

We also find it in names adapted from Greek, like Œnone and Œdipe. It is not clear if we have to pronounce it 'é' or 'eu' in these names. Both pronunciations are used. I use 'eu'.

May 10, 2017

In 'œil', 'cœur' and 'sœur', it is an open 'eu': /œ/.

In 'Œnone' and 'Œdipe', it is either a closed 'eu', /ø/, or like 'é', /e/.

The Wiktionary gives these two pronunciations for the adjective 'œdipien': /edipjɛ̃/, /ødipjɛ̃/.

May 10, 2017
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