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Ville – Pronunciation & Meaning – How to say city in French

Ville – Pronunciation & Meaning – How to say city in French

In today’s lesson we’ll have a close look at French word ville, meaning “city”. We’ll cover the pronunciation, several example sentences, the terms for “downtown” as well as the double -LL in famille (family) vs. ville. J’adore cette ville ! (I love this city!).

la ville


Ville - city in French

Ville – City in French

Word origin

According to, the modern French feminine noun ville (city) comes from villa (country house, villa, village) in Latin.

Ville pronunciation

The pronunciation of ville (city) in French is [vil]. Pronounce the -LL. In addition, pronounce the -LL in all French words related to ville, such as le village (village).

Example sentences

For this first example sentence, the -t on -est (third-person singular form of être – to be) is pronounced. This is due to the French liaison rule which states that the final consonant of word must be pronounced when the following word starts with a vowel. The French use the adjective magnifique to describe things of remarkable beauty.

Paris est une ville magnifique !

Paris is a magnificent city!

This next example sentence uses the adjective préféré for “favorite”. We could have also used the adjective favori. Hence, ma ville favorite (my favorite city) in the feminine form. This lesson on our site covers the word français (French).

Ma ville française préférée est Annecy.

My favorite French city is Annecy.

In French, the masucline adjective village translates to “village”. Les plus beaux (the most beautiful) is an example of the French superlative.

Nous découvrons les plus beaux villages de la France.

We’re discovering the most beautiful villages in France.

For our next example sentence, we’ve included the feminine noun la commune, which translates to town, municipality or village. This sentence uses the personal pronoun on, which can translate to “we”. The adverb depuis translates to “since” in French. Depuis and the present tense are used to describe actions which “have been doing once since” and are continuing in the present.

On habite dans cette commune depuis plus de 20 ans.

We have been living in this town for more than twenty years.

Downtown in French

In French, the term for downtown is the masculine noun le centre-ville. The term en ville also means downtown in the context of “going downtown. Here’s how to say “I’m going downtown” in French. I did these final audio clips with my own voice.

Je vais au centre-ville / Je vais en ville

I’m doing downtown.

Don’t confuse these words

Many people confuse the words la ville (city) and la famille (family). For family, do not pronounce the -LLs: la famille.

La famille habite dans cette ville.

The family lives in this city.


Et voilà ! Now you know how to pronounce and use ville (city) in French! Now check out this fun post covering the pronunciation of 10 major French cities. Another post which you may find helpful covers the French reading rules (including -LL words).

Paris est ma ville preférée. Paris is my favorite city.
Paris est ville magnifique. Paris is a magnificent city.

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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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