A quick French pronunciation question

Maybe there is someone here that is also working on French or that speaks French that can help me.
I am just starting out and I can’t tell from any of the recordings how the following words are pronounced.

Words that end in “re” like :
“votre” (your)
“notre” (our)

Is the “re” left silent? In the recordings it sounds silent. Is it pronounced like “Huh” in English? Or like “Ray”? Or like “Err” such as shopping centre?

And the other very common word I am confused about is the word “Que”
Is Que in French pronounced like the Spanish “que”, or “KEH”
Or is it pronounced like “Cue?”

Thank you for any replies. I feel like I’m making good progress, I just can’t seem to get past these basic words because of the pronunciation. I’ve listened to the assignments hundreds of times but still can’t make it out.

Give me your email address or your skype user and I’ll send you a record of these sounds.

Normally, the end of words ending by RE, RE is not silent. Although they must be pronounced, you will often notice that these letters are not pronounced in a casual speech.
Regarding the word ‘Que’, it is not pronounced as in Spanish. In Spanish, it mostly sounds like ‘qué’. You can listen to the pronounciation item about the letter ‘e’, which is available in the library. There, you could here the pronounciation of that word between others.

Hope this help :slight_smile:

Thank You both.

My skype username is a049806t (Same as it is here)
I’m connected all day long but I may be away from my desk. If you want to send me a file through skype, that would be great.

It is great the members like Serge and Marianne are responding to help you here. Serge, if you do record these sounds, could I ask that you not only record the individual words, but also some short text which features a lot of these words, and then load it up in our Library under pronunciation so that many people can benefit.

The text can be nonsense and should be short. Something like.

Je veux connaître la différence entre les quatre portes et les quatre fenêtres? Est-ce que c’est la couleur? Peut-être elles sont différentes parce que les unes sont vertes, et les autres sont jaunes.


Having learned a number of languages, and most recently Russian, I can assure that a number of things fall into place gradually. This includes pronunciation. I would not worry too much about how to pronounce individual sounds at first. Try to get used to listening. Your brain will naturally start to pick out patterns. You can focus on pronunciation if you want, but do not be disappointed if it just takes time. You will just pronounce better after a few months of listening than you do now.

Hi Steve,

I have faith in the system but I have a somewhat unusual position.
I grew up in Miami and had to take Spanish in school every year from second grade until graudation. Although I couldn’t carry on much of a conversation in Spanish and haven’t used my skills in over a decade, I do know a lot of Spanish words and can understand a lot of basic written Spanish.
So when I see extremely common words like “en” & “que”, I automatically want to pronounce them like I learned to do in Spanish. So I feel like if I don’t nip this one in the bud now, then the best I can hope to achieve is some version of Espançais.


Understood. Practice saying euh, je, le, peux, say it all the time. Say it at the end of words even when there is no “e”. Say it when you pause between words. “euh” is the quintessential French sound. Spanish is “e” as in “este”, French is “euh” as in je, le, me, de, entre, etc.

I’m on it! Thanks again.

I have the luxury of being able to listen while at work so I’ve been listening to French radio stations in addition to my assignments. I’ve printed out the lyrics of some of the songs that go slowly enough for me to understand and will translate and play over and over and I think that will help in addition to what is currently in the library.