French Accent Homographs

Think accents don't matter when writing in French? Think again!

You may not realize it, but French accents have a purpose. While some accents just signify that an S used to follow that vowel in Old French (e.g., étudiant used to be spelled estudiant), most French accents indicate the correct pronunciation of the letter they modify. In addition, there are dozens of French word pairs which are spelled (though not always pronounced) the same other than accents. To avoid confusion, you should always distinguish between these words by using the correct accents.*