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https://www.duolingo.com/davejacobs

Pronouncing final -ent in nouns and verbs

I've finally accepted that the final -ent is never pronounced in third-person plural verb conjugations (lisent, mangent). But I'm wondering why I hear it pronounced in nouns like ornement and enchaînement? What is it about those words that indicates I should be pronouncing the -ent?

4
4 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JC70
JC70
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I think it's sadly just a matter of convention: -ent endings are pronounced for nouns, but not for the particular verb conjugations you mention.

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/davejacobs

Frustrating! I guess we do similar things in English, too, so I can't really complain :)

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dogstaruk

I'm still not sure about pronunciation with -ent verb endings followed by words starting with vowels. Do you pronounce it with a -nt, -t or -d?

0
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JC70
JC70
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OK, so this is the topic of 'liasions' (see: http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons.htm) I've had a quick read of these pages and my conclusion is:

1) you MUST make a liaison in this case if the word that follows is a pronoun, as in 'travaillent-ils?' (i.e. travaille + pronounced t + ils with silent s). However...

2) ... all other liaisons with normally silent verb endings are optional, and sound very formal if done. So in 'ils travaillent au supermarché', you do not need to pronounce the 't', but you are allowed to.

3) You never pronounce liaisons with -ent ending words as -d or -ent, only as a (slightly soft) 't' at the beginning of the next word.

3
Reply14 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
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I'm sorry, I realized I misunderstood what you wrote. You were talking only about inversions, which is right!

Sorry!

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

As far as I can tell, 3) does appear to be correct.

Forvo has one recording (supposedly from a native speaker), in which the T is pronounced in travaillent-ils.
http://www.forvo.com/word/travaillent-ils/

Or were you speaking of liasons without inversion? There shouldn't be liason without inversion, as far as I know. :-)

1
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
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Sorry I misread see my changed comment

2
Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/0liwia
0liwia
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Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

I'm a beginner, so I don't know the difference between a regular T and a soft T. It sounds like a regular old T to me. :-)
But, it does come as a usual liaison, where it sounds like it's a part of the next word.

I found recordings of the pronunciation, on a cool site, recommended by someone on the french.about.com forum:
https://acapela-box.com/AcaBox/index.php

There are other recordings available (by other speakers) in the drop-down menu.

2
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JC70
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You mean you wouldn't pronounce the t in 'ont-ils...'? And I'm pretty sure the t would come at the beginning of 'ils'.

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4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JC70
JC70
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No worries, I'll try to be clearer in future :)

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Reply4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SongbirdSandra

Interesting. I didn't know that the T would be pronounced, in that case.
Merci!

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Reply4 years ago