The sounds on, an and in in French

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The sounds on, an and in


ON - [ɔ̃] - Lips pursed

on one, we
vont (they) go
son his/hers, sound
mon mine
font (they) do
don gift/donation

AN / EN - [ɑ̃] - Lips open

en in/by, etc
vent wind
sans without
ment (he) lies
fend (it) cracks, splits
dans in

UN / IN / AIM - [œ̃] / [ɛ̃] - Lips spread apart

un a/one
vin wine
sein breast
main hand
faim hungry
daim suede
Notes:
•  The sound can be written either as en or an, and is pronounced in the same way.
Une dent, dans, sans, il sent, enfant, etc. a tooth, in, without, he smells, child, etc.
•  The sound is written as ain, ein, aim or in, and is pronounced the same in all cases.
La fin, il a faim, un sein, sain the end, he’s hungry, a breast, healthy
•  There is a slight difference in the pronunciation of the sounds [œ̃] (the un spelling) and [ɛ̃] (the in or aim spelling). Most of the time the difference is too slight even for French ears.
Il est brun He has brown hair.
Un brin de muguet A sprig of lily of the valley.

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