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audio for "elles" followed by a vowel

I have reported this problem several times, but as it seems to be so widespread, I thought I'd start a discussion.

Elle and elles are pronounced exactly the same, unless elles is followed by a vowel, when the "s" gets pronounced with a "z" sound. For example, in "elles écrivent", it is pronounced like "ellz".

But I think every time I have seen elles followed by a vowel on duolingo, they also pronounce the "e" at the end of it, so it comes out as "ell - es" instead of "ellz". Is this just a mistake with the audio, or a normal variant?

March 26, 2013

1 Comment


I haven't noticed that, but you may need to know that both can be heard, as a nuance in the enunciation, particularly with local accents. For example, around Montpellier (southwest), people tend to pronounce mute -e at the end of a number of words, and so you may hear "elleu-Z-ont un chat". In poetry, you have to mark such -e endings, so that the number of feet is right.

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