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Heureusement Pronunciation & Meaning – Fortunately in French

Heureusement Pronunciation & Meaning – Fortunately in French

Today we’ll focus on the adverb heureusement, which means fortunately and luckily. The reason this word made it onto our list is that several students expressed having difficulties with the pronunciation. Heureusement j’apprends le français! (Fortunately, I’m learning French!).



Heureusement Pronunciation & Meaning - Fortunately in French

Heureusement Pronunciation & Meaning

Word origin and pronunciation

The French adverb heureusement (fortunately) is comprised of heureuse, the feminine form of the adjective heureux (happy), with the commonly used French adverb suffix -ment (-ly in English). According to, heureux (happy) is derived from the Latin word augŭrĭum (divination, prediction).

For the pronunciation of heureusement, this video breaks the word down into four distinct syllables: [heu-reu-se-ment]. The final -ent is pronounced as a nasal -en sound with the -t being silent. In this lesson Camille from French Today explains the French nasal sounds in detail.

Video source: Julien Miquel

Example sentences

For this first example sentence, when français (French) appears in the context of the langauge name, it must be preceded by the definite article le (the). This lesson covers how to use “français” in French.

Heureusement j’ai appris le français avant mon voyage en France !

Fortunately, I learned French before my trip to France.

When preceded by the prefix mal (bad/badly), malheureusement means unfortunately or sadly. Je n’ai pas pu is the passé composé (a commonly used French past tense) of the verb pouvoir (can, to be able) and translates to “couldn’t” or “wasn’t able”.

Malheureusement j’ai oublié mes clés et je n’ai pas pu ouvrir la porte.

Unfortunately, I forgot my keys and wasn’t able to open the door.

We cannot end this lesson without having a very quick look at the adjective heureux (m)/heureuse (f) (happy).

Marc est un garçon heureux. Sylvie est une fille heureuse.

Marc is a happy boy. Sylvie is a happy girl.


Congratulations! Now you know how to use heureusement in French. Now check out our lesson which covers heureux/content (happy) in detail!

Example of how to use "heureusement" in French: Heureusement j'apprends le français ! = Fortunately, I'm learning French!
Heureusement j’apprends le français ! = Fortunately, I’m learning French!

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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