French Spelling Tips

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For verbs ending in - cer, change c to ç before a or o to keep the soft c (s) sound: • avancer (to advance): j'avance, tu avances, il avance, nous avançons, vous avancez, ils avancent • Other - cer verbs include annoncer (to announce), commencer (to begin), menacer (to threaten), placer, remplacer (to replace), and renoncer à (to renounce) For verbs ending in - ger, insert a silent e between g and a and between g and o to keep the soft g (zh) sound: • manger (to eat): je mange, tu manges, il mange, nous mangeons, vous mangez, ils mangent • Other - ger verbs include arranger (to arrange), changer (to change), corriger (to correct), déranger (to disturb), diriger (to direct), nager (to swim), obliger, partager (to share), and ranger (to tidy). In - yer verbs, the y is kept in the nous and vous forms except for - ayer verbs, where the change is optional. An i is used instead of y within the shoe. Verbs ending in — ayer include payer and essayer [de] (to try [to]) . • employer (to use, employ): j'emploie, tu emploies, il emploie, nous employons, vous employez, ils emploient • Other -yer verbs include ennuyer (to bother), envoyer (to send), and nettoyer (to clean). For silent e + consonant + - er verbs, change the silent e to è for all forms in the shoe. The addition of an accent grave (è) to the silent e gives it an eh sound and the verb ending remains silent. This avoids having two consecutive silent vowels, which would make the verb virtually impossible to pronounce. • acheter (to buy): j'achète, tu achètes, il achète, nous achetons, vous achetez, ils achètent • Other verbs in this category include achever (to finish), amener (to bring, lead to), emmener (to take, lead away), enlever (to take off, remove), peser (to weigh); promener (to walk). For appeler (to call) and jeter (to throw), double the consonant that comes before the - er ending instead of adding an accent grave: • j'appelle, tu appelles, il appelle,...
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