1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: French
  4. >
  5. When is 'r' silent at the end…


When is 'r' silent at the end of a word?

When is 'r' silent at the end of a word? For example, the 'r' in 'papier' is silent, but the 'r' in 'avenir' is not. Please help! Thanks.

March 9, 2018



Not that I'm an expert, but I believe words ending in -er do not pronounce the 'r' and everything else sort of gutturally alludes to it.


Like everyone else has said; it's with verbs ending in -er.

I also like to remember the phrase:

"Hey guys, don't say this please x"

In which every first letter is silent in French if they are at the end of a word. So the H, G, D, S, T, P, and X are all silent if they are at the end of a French word. (The H is usually silent at the beginning too.)


Not true in all case for the "x" : "Index" the x "is not muted. But it's true with words ending with "eux".

"You're right for the "t" that forgot too".

words ending with "h" , "g", "d", and "p" are pretty rare...


Evidently there are going to be exceptions with every language. I'm just re-phrasing what my French teacher taught me when I was learning French.

This phrase is one that is taught quite early on; before anyone knows about the exceptions. (At least, that's what my French teacher taught me in school.) As for the words that are seeming rare... It still counts, right?



All the words ending with "er" are pronounced "é" or "è". I dont really pay attention to which one when i'm talking though...!

In all remaining situations, the r is not silent when ending a word.

It's true that most of words ending with "er" are verbs, but not always.

Example : Olives tree = Olivier. (which is also a name by the way", like "Oliver".


Consonants at the end of a word are usually silent if the following word begins with a consonant.


In general consonants are silent at the end of a word, when each word is spoken individually. However, in general, they are pronounced if the word ends with f, l, c or r. (To remember the four consonants you can use the mnemonic careful).

However, there are many exceptions for words ending in c, f, l or r, for example:

Monsieur - the final 'r' is not pronounced.
premier - the final 'r' is not pronounced.
if a French word ends in r and r is preceded by e then r not pronounced (example the infinitive of all verbs ending in er)

Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.