René (accent grave or aigu)

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Nurserene62, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Nurserene62 New Member

    I know this question is going to seem very elementary, but my name is René and I have often wondered if the accent is considered accent grave or accent aigu. Can someone please clarify this for me? Also what is the correct french pronunciation for grave and aigu? I am often asked about the accent in my name and would like to be able to provide an educated response.

    Although I am female, I am told that René is actually the masculine form and the feminine form is Reneé. For some reason my mother chose to spell it René.
  2. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    Welcome, Nurserene62! :)

    The accent in René(e) is called an accent aigu. The accent grave goes the other way (down to the right). Unless I am much mistaken, there are no French words ending in è that can stand alone (without hyphenation to another word immediately after).

    It is difficult to "describe" pronunciation, and much more practical to listen to it.

    Try pasting renè, rené into one of the speech synthesizers listed in post #3 from our Phonetics, Pronunciation Resources thread. Choose a French voice, and listen to the audio. There are also lots of audio sites in post #1 where you can listen to the vowels é and è by themselves so that you can compare the effect of the accent on pronunciation. :)
  3. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    :) Welcome to the forum, René.

    Accent grave is covered here.

    Accent aigu is covered here.

    The feminine form of René is Renée (not Reneé).
  4. Nurserene62 New Member

    Thank you Jann and SwissPete for your very helpful information. And thank you SwissPete for the correction of the feminine form of René being Renée and not Reneé. I have a friend who spells her name Reneé and has told me my name is spelled "wrong". I sit here laughing now knowing that my name is not spelled "wrong", but is the correct spelling in the masculine form and her name is spelled "wrong".
  5. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    You ask about the correct french pronunciation for grave and aigu, and I wonder if you meant the pronunciation of those two words. If so, grave rhymes with halve and aigu rhymes with hey you. Well, not exactly, because the -u at the end is 'tighter' than in English.
  6. Nurserene62 New Member

    Thanks Keith. I also went to one of the sites Jann suggested and I was able to hear the pronunciation of both words. Everyone's information was very helpful.

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