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How to pronounce the “eu” sound in French

How to pronounce the “eu” sound in French

In today’s lesson, we’ll have a good look at how to pronounce the eu sound in French words. In most instances, eu sounds like “uh” as in un peu (a little). However, there is an instance where the pronunciation changes. Keep reading and we’ll explain with audio example sentences.

eu sound in French

/uh/ [ø]

EU pronunciation in French

EU – most common pronunciation explained

In our first several examples, eu sounds like [ø]. For all of our example sentences, we’ll first say the word in question, then provide a complete sentence including the word.

Veux -> Qu’est-ce que tu veux ?

Want -> What do you want?

Feu -> Je vais allumer un feu.

Fire -> I’m going to start a fire.

Peu -> Je parle un peu.

Little -> I speak a little

Bleu -> Le ciel est bleu.

Blue -> The sky is blue.

Over the past ten years of teaching French, I’ve found the many students have a hard time pronouncing the following three words: heure (hour), fleur (flower) and gazeuse (sparkling/fizzy).

Heure -> A quelle heure commence le film ?

Hour -> What time does the movie start?

Fleur -> J’aime la fleur rouge.

Flower -> I like the red flower.

Gazeuse -> Je commande une bouteille d’eau gazeuse.

Sparkling -> I ordered a bottle of sparklign water.

Less common pronunciation

When eu appears as the past participle of the verb avoir (to have), the pronunciation changes and sounds like this: [y]. Here’s an example:

Eu -> j’ai eu une bonne note.

Had -> I had (got or received) a good grade.


Et voilà ! You should now be very clear on how to pronounce eu in French words. To further improve your pronunciation, check out our audio lesson covering 29 French reading rules. Another resource which we feel would be very useful is Camille from French Today’s French Pronunciation Audio Guide.

Blue sky
Bleu -> Le ciel est bleu. Example of eu in a French word.

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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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