Beginning French pronunciation exercises PDF and MP3s

Here are the beginning French pronunciation exercise pdfs and MP3s. These are the same ones I give to my students to help them brush up on their basic French pronunciation skills. I hope you enjoy them!

Best regards,

David Tolman

The É sound. This is the É you hear at the end of “café.”

You probably already know to make this sound with you see an E with an accute accent, but you might not know the other times to make that sound, such as when a word ends with er or ez. This exercise will help you with the different times to make the É sound. But better than that, it will also teach you some exceptions : there are words that end in “er” where you should make the sound you hear in the English word “air.”

Click here to get the PDF and Click here to get the MP3 or, if you don’t want to download, click here to play the pronunciation exercise for the French E directly in your browser

The É (accute accent) sound compared to the E (no accent) sound.

The biggest pronunciation mistake made by beginning French learners is to learn that É/é is pronounced like the E you hear at the end of “café” and to go an a tear and want to pronounce ALL E’s that way. Big mistake because the normal E sound in French is ‘uh,’ like the E in the English word “the”.

Click here to get the PDF and Click here to get the MP3 or, if you don’t want to download, click here to play the pronunciation exercise for the French E directly in your browser

Master the U and OU sounds

This seems easy when go over it in class or with your French pronunciation tutor; but I haven’t yet met an intermediate speaker who doesn’t foul this up and cause massive confusion for the French native listening to them. Confusing U and OU is high on my list of common French Pronuciation mistakes made by English speakers.

These exercises will help you master these two sounds so that you don’t mix up “le cou” (the French word for “neck”) and “le cul” (since I’m polite, I can’t tell you what it means.)

First, the French U sound.

For the French “u”, you need to purse your lips and make the sound at the front of the mouth. Practice with the exercise below…

Click here to get the PDF and Click here to get the MP3 or, if you don’t want to download, click here to play the pronunciation exercise for the French U directly in your browser

Now, the French OU sound

Click here to get the PDF and Click here to get the MP3 or, if you don’t want to download, click here to go to the page with play button right on the page.

Now that you know U and OU, practice switching back and forth.

Click here to get the PDF and Click here to get the MP3 or, if you don’t want to download, click here to go to the page with play button right on the page.