hearing the "s"

why when saying: "Tu es une femme" you pronounce the s of the "es", but when saying: "Je suis une femme" you do not pronounce the s of the "suis" ? are there any cases where the s of "suis" before a vowel will be heard or you sould never pronounce it in any case ?

June 1, 2012


It's called liaison in French, you can read this wiki article to learn more: I think the rules are generally complicated for a non-local so you should expose yourself to everyday spoken French like watching french movies or television and videos on youtube. Myself I download French news and listen to it daily while walking the dog, it helps immensely just to immerse yourself as much as possible.

Also this is a good site: It has full sentence translation and some contain audio with a native dictating the sentence. Myself I use to "liaise" the es and notice that it wasn't done by the native speaker.

June 1, 2012

merci beaucoup!

August 16, 2013

I would take Duo's pronunciation with a grain of salt - doesn't always seem to be correct. For instance, she pronounces the "s" sound in "est-il" - I don't believe that is correct, I think the "s" should be silent and only the "t" pronounced. For your above Qs, I would say the "s" is silent in "Tu es une femme." but pronounced like "z" in "Je suis une femme."

June 1, 2012

actually in "Tu es une femme" you pronounce the s(z) of the "es", and when saying: "Je suis une femme" you do pronounce the s(z) of the "suis", see ; if you really need rules, the whole "liaison" thing being about euphony (souding good)

June 24, 2012

It is very simple : if you intend to speak French right, you must use liaisons that are necessary to a nice flow where two vowel sounds should not conflict: 'je suis(z) une femme'. However, native French people pay less and less attention to 'good' speaking. Journalists or politicians or other professional speakers are not always doing it right either. You seldom hear 'trois (z) euros'. Too bad!

June 30, 2012

In my experience, in almost every case where a terminal "s" or "t" is followed by a vowel (without a comma or other punctuation to interrupt it), the sound carries over to the next word. I agree with CSI, I have never heard the "s" in "est-il" pronounced, but the "t" is.

June 1, 2012

Yes, I wouldn't put too much stock in the Duolingo computer voice. I would not pronounce the s in es or est no matter what came after, and would pronounce the last s in suis if the next word started with a vowel. Like a z, as csi says.

June 1, 2012

[deactivated user]

    I discovered a similar situation with 'et' and 'est". L'homme et un chien, (silent t); L'homme est un chien, (t pronounced). Get it wrong and instead of talking of the man and his dog you will say 'the man is a dog', and you risk getting into trouble.

    June 29, 2012

    Because French is technically 2 languages: oral and written.

    July 8, 2012

    I agree with what most people here say, but I'd add that speaking French has a lot to do with what "feels" nicer. Sentences that flow together without too many rough stops and changes are generally more likely to be correct.

    June 7, 2012

    you do pronounce de S but together with the next vowel as if it is one long word because you do a liaison usually when it is followed by a vowel you do pronounce it

    June 28, 2012

    I don't think you pronounce the s. My french teacher didn't, and he is French, lived in Paris for 17 years and studied French at a French university.

    July 25, 2012

    When in the situation of a liason, when after 'suis' you have a vowell, then the 's' is pronounced but as a 'z' sound.

    February 21, 2013

    When the next word starts with a vowel, you pronounce the last thing at the end of the previous word.

    October 10, 2013

    Actually, correct pronunciation is the opposite of what Duo does here. Never pronounce the "s" in "es" and most often you so pronounce the "s" of "suis" before a vowel. Although, my understanding is that rules of liaison in French are changing and often it is up to the individual speaker--to use or not to use liaison.

    June 15, 2012

    The "t" at the end of the conjunction "et" is never pronounced, nor there is liason with the next word, ever. This applies only to "et".

    October 28, 2012

    برو. بابا

    August 5, 2013

    just wondering? any native speaker here that really pronounces the -s in plus tard? I've never heard someone in France doing that.

    September 6, 2013

    I don't.

    September 6, 2013

    neither do I, knowing french for a long time. however the duolingo lady really says 'plussss'

    September 6, 2013

    trust me, that was reported as a mistake a number of times... but Duo has not corrected it... yet.

    September 6, 2013
    Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.