"Êtes-vous avocat ?"
Translation:Are you a lawyer?
but both are possible, right? This About.com article uses exactly this example and indicates both translations as correct: http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm
Not exactly. For clarification, what you suggests only refers to subject "il" or "elle":
he is a lawyer = il est avocat (no article) or c'est un avocat (il est + modified noun changing to c'est + modified noun).
she is a lawyer = elle est avocate or c'est une avocate
I am / you are / we are / they are lawyer(s) = je suis / tu es / nous sommes / ils/elles sont avocat(e)(s)
Strange! I can't believe I've never heard that ... I've been learning French for nearly ten years now; you'd think it would've come up at some point! Now I have to go question my entire French education thusfar ... :\
I wonder -- firstly, where did this rule come from? With most of the other forbidden liaisons, it's fairly clear why they exist. But other than avoiding the occasional awkward sound, I can't say I really see what the purpose of this one is. Also, (I'm sure this varies regionally and such, but in general), I wonder if this is a rule strictly adhered to in informal / everyday French?
I saw it here: http://french.about.com/library/pronunciation/bl-liaisons-f.htm . A quick google also gives me: http://www.spellandsound.com/french-liaisons/ but this site says it's a forbidden liaison between inversions using on, ils, and elles and past participles.
Besides that, I found no other mentions online of this rule I cited a year ago, so probably I am just wrong.
Would be nice if some native French speakers could weigh in. :)
Reminds me of the English word "advocate", which can mean "a person who pleads the cause of another" sometimes in a court of law.