French For Beginners
par Olivier Malet

 

Chapter Eighteen

 

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28

 

 

 

LINKING & LIAISON

Linking is a phenomenon we find in English. It consists of linking the consonant at the end of a word with the vowel of the next word:

Far from it : the ‘m’ of from becomes the initial consonant of the word ‘it’ as if you were reading ‘mit’. The same phenomenon is observed with Fire away or Far away etc.

In French the same thing occurs especially between the personal pronoun and the verbs starting with a vowel:

> Il écoute bien is read :
i-lé-coute-bien

> Elle écoute bien is read :
è-lé-coute-bien

This is what we call a linking. The liaison is not found in English. But it is not difficult to understand or reproduce because it is a kind of linking, except that the consonant at the endf of the word is not normally pronounced unless the next syllable starts with a vowel.

> On mange bien en France.
People eat well in France

The ‘n’ of on is not pronounced.

But if the verb starts with a vowel, then we hear it as an initial :

> On écoute bien is read :
on-né-coute-bien
We listen well

With the personal pronouns ending with an ‘s’ (nous, vous, ils, elles) the sound ‘z’ is heard.

For instance with the TYPE I verb ‘arrivez’ (arrive)

> Nous arrivons aujourd’hui is read:
nous-za-rri-vons-au-jour-d’hui

> Vous arrivez aujourd’hui is read:
vous-za-rri-vez-au-jour-d’hui

> Ils attendent là-bas is read:
ils-za-ttendent-là-bas

> Elles attendent là-bas is read:
elles-za-ttendent-là-bas

We’ve seen that TYPE I verbs do not distinguish orally the singular and the plural form

> Il travaille sounds the same as:
ils travaillent

But if the verb starts with a vowel sound, then a difference is heard due to the liaison:

Il écoute - Ils écoutent

Elle écoute - Elles écoutent

 

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French at HKU
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