Hello! so, I'm having trouble pronouncing and memorizing 'est'. 'es' , 'un' , and 'une'. I get them mixed up and it's throwing off my listening and identifying skills on Duolingo.
et is pronounced /e/ and it never makes a liaison
est is pronounced /ε/ or /e/ , and optionally /et/ or /εt/ before vowel sounds through liaison.
es is pronounced the same as est, except before vowels where it is /ez/ or /εz/ through liaison.
un is pronounced /ɛ̃/ which is the nasalised version of /ε/.
Nasal sounds don't exist in English, but there are 3 of them in modern standard French:
/ɛ̃/ written in/un/ain/im/um/aim, /ɑ̃/ written en/an/em/am and /ɔ̃/ written on/om
Before vowel sounds, un is pronounced /ɛ̃n/ through liaison.
une is pronounced /yn/ and is never nasalised, which means it's never pronounced the same as un.