How to Spell in French?

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Do you know how to spell your name in French? What about dictating in French? Let’s study the French letters, accents, punctuation etc… with audio recordings.

To spell in French, you will just say the names of the letters of the French alphabet one after the other.

Paris – p – a – r – i – s

How do you Spell Letters in French

Here is how you’d spell the letters in French.

I’ve recorded the whole French alphabet for you. I left just enough time for you to repeat out loud.

Please press on the audio player to hear my recording of the French alphabet.

a, b, c, d, e f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o ,p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.

I’ve actually written a whole free French lesson about the French alphabet, with audio recordings. Follow the link to know more!

How do you Spell Accents in French

When spelling a French letter with an accent, you have several ways of saying it:

  • Hélène – h – e accent aigu – l – e accent grave – n – e – this would be quite formal.
  • Hélène – h é l è n e – pronouncing clearly the letter with the accent sound is common when spelling in an informal situation.

More about spelling special French characters and accent in my how to type French accents lesson.

Spelling double consonants in French

When spelling a word with a double consonant, we simply say the French number deux + the consonant name.

Camille – c – a – m – i – deux l – e

Spelling Apostrophe in French

If you were to spell a word with an apostrophe in French, here is what you’d say:

J’aime – j apostrophe – a – i – m – e

How do you say Uppercase and Lowercase in French?

Knowing these two words may be useful when spelling in French:

How do you say Apostrophe in French?

Apostrophe in French is the same word, with a very different pronunciation. “Une apostrophe“. It’s a feminine word.

To spell a letter with an apostrophe, you’ll say the name of the French letter followed by the word “apostrophe” and then the following letter.

J’aime – j apostrophe a i m e.

How do you spell Punctuation in French?

First, let’s review the names of the French punctuation words in French as well as other words useful when spelling or dictating in French.

French Punctuation markEnglish NameFrench Name
,commala virgule
.periodle point
:colondeux points
;semi colonle point virgule
ellipsisles points de suspension
!exclamation markle point d’exclamation
?question markle point d’interrogation
«»quotation marksles guillemets (m)
hyphenle trait-d’union
apostropheune apostrophe

I’ve written a whole free lesson about typing punctuation marks in French: the spaces we type in French and English are different…

How to Dictate in French

French Dictation Terms

When you dictate in French, on top of dictating French punctuation marks and French words, you’ll need to give a few basic directions. Here are some useful additional vocabulary for dictating in French

English NameFrench Name
returnà la ligne
new paragraphnouveau paragraphe
titlele titre
subtitlele sous-titre

French Dictation Example

Ok let’s see how you would dictate this text in French.

« Bonjour ! dit Sophie. Tu vas bien ?
— Bien. Et toi ? Répond Anne.
— Très bien, merci ! »

Ouvrez les guillemets B majuscule Bonjour point d’exclamation dit Sophie point T majuscule Tu vas bien point d’interrogation
À la ligne tiret long B majuscule bien point E majuscule et toi point d’interrogation R majuscule répond Anne point
À la ligne tiret long T majuscule très bien virgule merci point d’exclamation fermez les guillemets.

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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