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Questions about /œ/ and /ø/

So yes, I know they are different pronunciations. But, here are 2 questions that I would like to ask you guys, especially you natives. 1. Both of those two pronunciations are usually indicated by "eu" spelling. Are there specific ways to guess their pronunciations in words? ex) deux /dø/, professeur /profesœr/ 2. Do French speaking people actually pronounce them differently? Because I often heard them pronouncing both of 'em with /œ/.

April 11, 2020



(I'm a native) Deux and professeur are pronounced differently, I can't really explain what's different because it's really difficult when you can't make an audio of it, but yes we do pronounce them differently. Words like 'professeur' have that "œ" sound because you can hear the end of the word (the R sound), but then I guess that with words like "deux" where you don't pronounce the final letter you'll rather have that "ø" sound.

  • Words pronounced like professeur : classeur ; trieur ; voleur ; roller ; penseur ; coiffeur ; œil (all words where you pronounce all the letters)

  • Words pronounced like deux : veux ; vœux ; jeu(x) ; yeux ; feu(x) (all words where you have silent letters)

I hope this helped you ?


Yep, surely did. And one more question, if I pronounce them with same pronunciation, will the natives not be able to understand my words? (I know their distinctions, it's just a bit hassle to pronounce them differently)


We won't have any troubles understanding you, it might just sound a bit weird on certain words but we would totally understand you. Pronounciation is secondary and for people who want to perfect their skills :) To help you on how to pronounce them, you must pronounce words similar to "deux" with your lips forming an 'O', while words like "professeur" are more like an "open" sound, you'll open your mouth a little more. You usually figure out how to pronounce when you're around natives or if you listen to them a lot (videos for example), that's also how you get their accent. So no worries, you will manage to it someday :)

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