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Ê, ê (e-circumflex) is a letter of the Latin alphabet, found in Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Friulian, Kurdish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Welsh. It is used to transliterate Ukrainian and Chinese.

Usage in various languages[edit]


Ê is not considered a separate letter in Afrikaans, but rather a variation of the letter "e". The circumflex forces the pronunciation of "e" to be /ɛ/, whereas "e" without the circumflex is pronounced either as /e/, /æ/ or /ɛ/ depending on the placement of the vowel in relation to other letters in a word.


In the Pinyin romanization of Standard Mandarin, ê represents /ɛ/. It corresponds to Zhuyin ㄝ. The circumflex is only present if ê is the only letter in the syllable, e.g. /ɛ̂/ (; ; "eh!"); without the circumflex, e as the only letter in the syllable represents /ɤ/, e.g. è /ɤ̂/ (饿; ; "hungry"). Elsewhere, /ɛ/ is written as a (before n) or e (at the end of a syllable) with the appropriate tone mark, e.g. xiān /ɕi̯ɛ́n/ (; "first"), xuǎn /ɕy̯ɛ̀n/ (; ; "to choose"), xué /ɕy̯ɛ̌ ~ ɕy̯ě/ (; ; "to learn"), xièxie /ɕi̯ɛ̂.ɕi̯ɛ ~ ɕi̯ê.ɕi̯e/ (谢谢; 謝謝; "thanks").

In Pe̍h-ōe-jī, ê is the fifth tone of e, e.g. ê (; possessive, adjectival suffix).


In Dutch, ê is used to change the pronunciation of e from /ə/ to /ɛ/. It only appears in words taken over from the French language.


Diacritics are not considered letters of the French alphabet. In French, ê changes the pronunciation of e from /ə/ to /ɛ/. It is used instead of "è" when the archaic was "es". In other words, it shows that an "e" should be pronounced as "es" used to be pronounced.


Ê is used to represent the /e/ and /ɛː/ sounds.


Ê is the 7th letter of the Kurdish Kurmanji alphabet and represents /e/.


In Portuguese, ê is used to mark a stressed /e/ in words whose stressed syllable is in an unpredictable location within the word, as in "dê" (give!) and "pêssego" (peach). Where the location of the stressed syllable is predictable, the circumflex accent is not used. Ê /e/ contrasts with é, pronounced /ɛ/.


Ê is used in the ISO 9:1995 system of Ukrainian transliteration as the letter Є.


Ê is the 9th letter of the Vietnamese alphabet and represents /e/. In Vietnamese phonology, diacritics can be added to form the following five forms to represent five tones of ê.

  • Ề ề
  • Ể ể
  • Ễ ễ
  • Ế ế
  • Ệ ệ


In Welsh, ê is used to represent long stressed e [eː] when, without the circumflex, the vowel would be pronounced as short [ɛ], e.g.. llên [ɬeːn] "literature", as opposed to llen [ɬɛn] "curtain", or gêm [ɡeːm] "game", rather than gem [ɡɛm] "gem, jewel". It is useful in writing borrowed words with final stress, e.g. apêl [apˈeːl] "appeal".

Character mappings[edit]

Unicode encoded 5 pairs of precomposed characters (Ề / ề, Ể / ể, Ễ / ễ, Ế / ế, Ệ / ệ) for the five tones of ê in Vietnamese. Two pairs of the five (Ế / ế and Ề / ề) can also be used as the second and fourth tones of ê in Pinyin. The first and third tones of ê in Pinyin have to be represented by combining diacritical marks, like ê̄ (ê̄) and ê̌ (ê̌).

Character Ê ê
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 202 U+00CA 234 U+00EA
UTF-8 195 138 C3 8A 195 170 C3 AA
Numeric character reference Ê Ê ê ê
Named character reference Ê ê
EBCDIC family 114 72 82 52
ISO 8859-1/3/9/14/15/16 202 CA 234 EA

See also[edit]