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this is down right impossibly to determine that they were reffering to "they" and not just "her/she"
I agree. When played at normal speed, I can maybe hear an s on the end of elle. But when played slowly, it clearly says elle.
You can tell because she says elles ecrivent, with the -ve sound at the end, rather than elle ecrit, with the -it sound.
I could not hear the -vent at the end. i started writing elles because the lesson had been about plural, but I changed it back to singular.
Because when you pronounce the words individually, you don't pronounce the liaison.
It's normal, because without a liaison, "elles" sounds like "elle". At normal speed, you have the liaisons and not only the isolated word. "Ecrit" (elle écrit) and "Ecrivent" (elles écrivent) are not pronounced the same! Elle écrit = ay-lay-kree Elles écrivent = ayl-zay-kreev. Pay attention to the final "v" sound, very soft and quick, and the "zay" sound in the middle.
What do you think about the pronunciation "ele zekriv"? I mean, that's what I hear here: elles has two syllables. From school French, I thought it was pronounced just like elle except with the possibility of s-liaison. Are both right?
Both are not right. What you learned in school is correct. Elles is only one syllable: /el/ without liaison or /elz/ with liaison. The /elez/ pronunciation sometimes heard on the audio is wrong.
she is pronouncing the 's' at the end of 'elles' because the next word 'écrivent' begins with a vowel. if this were singular, there would be no liason with the 's'. also, she then pronounces the 'v' en 'écrivent'. when you want to say "elle écrit une lettre", it sounds like "el ecree oon lettr", but if it's "elles ecrivent une lettre" then it sounds like "elsecreev oon lettr". i really hope that made sense!
Elles ecrivent une lettre is thay write a letter not thay are writing a letter
When it asks for they, I never know whether its masculine or feminine :(
You can write either the masculine or the feminine for the exercice when there is no clue. Both are accepted, and both have to. One time use the feminine, and the other, use the masculine, to get used to.
listening slowly, there are only five syllables, but at normal speed there are 6.
When I hear it at normal speed I hear 5 syllables, "el-ez-eh-kreev-une-let" and possibly a 6th if the -re of lettre is a syllable, I can't quite tell.
Normally "ayl-zay-kree-vuhn-laytr"= 5 syllabes, some people make a "tre" sound in "lettre" longer than other, there's always difference in the way people pronounce words or sentence.
Does anyone know how to pronounce écrivent? I can pronounce most of the French R's, but this one makes me sound weird.
What... Isn't "They write a letter" and "They are writing a letter" the same phrase in French?
They...does not indicate the feminine.. They could be masculine... They could be male and female.
What you don't seem to realize is while you may have had the English to French exercise, in which "they" can indeed be elles or ils, many of us got the French to English exercise.
For the latter, the sentence we were asked to translate was elles écrivent une lettre. Of course the correct translation is "they are writing a letter" but there are people who were confused about why elles could not be replaced by another feminine plural word. That is what the discussion along those lines is about.
No one disputes that "they" in English could mean males, females or a mixture of both.
There is no les femmes in the sentence so how can it be "the women"? The translation for elles is "they" in reference to a feminine plural noun. And so for all we know, they could be little girls or cartoon cows.
Of course, both "ils" and "elles" are accepted, if the rest of the sentence is correct.
Can I use "Ils" too in this sentence? If not, what's the difference between "Elles" and "Ils"?...
If translating from English yes. The two words mean "they". Elles means "they" are all female. Ils means "they" are all male or a mixture of both.
Because that's just how the language is; the last "ent" of verbs for the 3rd Person Plural conjugation is never pronounced. Here are some examples: http://www.languageguide.org/french/grammar/conjugations/