Complete Guide to Learn French Accent Marks

Hardeep Kaur Complete Guide to Learn French Accent Marks


The French Accent Mark plays a vital role in the French writing and correct spelling. Using the French Accent properly is very important as the lack of the accent can make you sound like a fool?

So it is really necessary to know how to use the French accent marks.

Read the complete guide to learn about the French Accent codes, how to pronounce them properly.

What is French Accent Marks?

Well in the French language there are only 5 different Accent Marks but for controlling the pronunciation there are several accent marks are used.

And the French accent provides plenty of different purposes, and in some cases, they affect the pronunciation but in some cases, they won’t.

This might sound quite confusing and help you understand it properly read the article with apt attention.

I guess now it is clear to you how important is to understand the French Accent marks and use them properly.

French Accent Marks:

The French accent marks are of 5 different types, and there is no exact order:

  • the cedilla (la cédille)
  • the acute accent (l' accent aigu)
  • the circumflex (l'accent circonflexe)
  • the grave accent (l'accent grave)
  • the trema (l'accent tréma)

Let describe each one in details:

1: The Cedilla (La Cédille)

The cedilla in the French language sounds like little scribble under the letter “ç”. This accent mark only goes with the letter “c” and not with any other letter.

This is a symbol to understand the ç (c with a cedilla) will be pronounced like “s”, and also the cedilla c only appears before “a”, “o”, or “u”.

Also, the “ç” converts the C pronunciation from hard to soft. Such as:

  • français (French),

2: The Acute Accent (L'Accent Aigu)

The Acute accent appears on the letter “e”: “é”, the role E is to change the pronunciation of the vowel and also has a different pronunciation in French.

The French accent “é” is pronounced similarly like “ay” sound in the English word “say” or “hey”.

But when try making the sound, avoid moving tongue or lips, keep them stable during pronouncing. 

Below check out some of the words to know how it should be pronounced exactly:

  • un été
  • Le canapé

3: The Grave Accent (L’Accent Grave)

The French grave accent is found above the letters (à/è/ù). This allows distinguishing words with the same pronunciation but different meanings.

And this accent is used particularly in the letter “a” and “u”.

Below check out the example to understand it better:

  • ou means “or”
  • means “where”

4: The Circumflex (L’Accent Circonflexe)

Well, this French accent is unique but is also pretty complicated. This circumflex accent is located above the 5 vowels â, ê, î, ô, or û.

The circumflex accent is unique and is also somewhat complicated.

This accent missing the “s” but in some cases is used for other letters also.  And like the French gave accent, this is used to differentiate some pairs of identically sounding words 

5: The Trema (L’Accent Tréma)

This is the fifth French accent marks and is found above the letters ë, ï, ü. This accent is used for pronouncing two side-by-side vowels individually.

To understand it better listen to the names like Chloë and Zoë. You can identify here the “o” and “e” are pronounced individually.


Hope after reading the article, you are well aware of French accent mark and its importance.

If you are learning French language then the article turns out to be beneficial for you.