https://www.duolingo.com/ruziskey2283

How liaisons work with "est" and "et"

Duolingo cannot keep it straight whether "est" and "et" do or do not have liaisons. I have heard "est" with and without liaisons in cases where the same rule should apply to both, and I'm hoping someone can clarify. A phrase where this is important is in a phrase like "un hibou est un oiseau", because it can sound exactly like "un hibou et un oiseau". I'm fairly certain native French speakers can tell a slight difference in pronunciation between "est" and "et", but I was told on another discussion that either "est" or "et" doesn't have liaisons because of the fact that there has to be a difference between the two phrases that I gave. In addition, if you are using a phrase similar to the ones above where your "est" or "et" doesn't get a liaison because the next word is a definite article (le, la, l', les), then is there any way to tell besides context? For example: "Le hibou est l'oiseau" vs. "Le hibou et l'oiseau". Can someone please help?

October 5, 2018

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ThibaultMo14

Hey, - You're right, "et" and "est" sound different for french people. "ET" has to be pronounced " é " (like a native english speaker would say "Déjà vu"). On the other hand "est" has to be pronounced " è " (a bit like in the english word "to say"). - French always use the liaison after "est" when the next word start with a vowel. - French don't use a liaison after "et". In your example "un hibou est/et un oiseau". The easy way to tell if it's ET or EST is if your hear the liaison. With the liaison, no doubt they used the word EST. No liaison, then it was ET. Hope it helps

October 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ElijahCFGolpe

In French, è sounds like "eh" like in the English get, and é sounds like "ay" like in English take.

Similarly: ai is pronounced like é, UNLESS there are consonants after it (usually), then it sounds like è.
Example: je mangerai vs. je mangerais (je manger"é" vs. je manger"è").
Natives sometimes argue about this though. So, this is a "nice" rule, but it isn't set-in-stone or followed all the time. But it's best if you follow it! :))

Est to me, has always, usually sounded like é/"ay", but sometimes it sounds like è/"eh" (which sounds somewhat proper and weird to me). It depends on the speaker and the context.
Et; I don't remember a time when it sounded like é/"ay", I've always heard it as è/"eh". Otherwise, it sounds very "extra," if you know what I mean by that.

Liaisons can be tricky. The best advice I've heard: The more liaison, the more formal.

I haven't heard et used with liaison. I have heard est with liaison, but it always sounds very proper.

The definite article thing? No liaison. The whole point of liaison is for the last consonant of the first word to carry onto the second word that starts with a vowel. The definite article acts as if they become a part of the second word. In "Le hibou est l'oiseau," you would not hear the "t" at the end of "est". Same with "Le hibou et l'oiseau." I know it's a cheap answer, but it's the truth: context or written only.

That's all I can say for now about that though. I hope this helped!

October 6, 2018

[deactivated user]

    Yes, as for natives arguing about the mangerai, mangerais, that is a Parisian thing to pronounce them the same way. I never would.

    October 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Langophobe

    Comment est-ce que vous les prononcez? Est-ce que vous êtes française? J'ai toujours appris qu'on les prononce la même, mais j'ai appris le français 'français', alors, ça peut être pour ça.

    PS, laissez-tomber la deuxième question, je vois maintenant que vous êtes en fait, quebécoise

    October 10, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ruziskey2283

    Thank you very much! That was exactly the answer I was looking for!

    October 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ThibaultMo14

    Glad I could help ;-)

    October 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ValSell

    Never liaison "et", never.

    October 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Langophobe

    You might not like this buuuut. You can go either way sometimes...

    What I'm talking about is the different types of liaisons (as if French couldn't get any harder). First you have the "liaison obligatoire", literally, the liaison you must make. These are things like "ils ont", you must make the 'z' sound in between the 2 words.

    On the opposite side, you have the "liaison inderdit", the forbidden liaison. The best example is in fact with 'et' because you never make the liaison after it, eg: 'et elle'. This doesn't go for the 't' you sometimes write in place of the liaison; eg 'y a-t-il' which otherwise wouldn't have a liaison.

    The issue you bring up is the 'liaison facultatif', the one that is up to you. This is when you can choose to make the liaison or not, for example, in constructions such as "pas encore" The other big one is "c'est un(e)". The difference is in the formality of the register. If you choose to make the liaison here, your speech will come across as more formal.

    That's all there is to it! Hope that helps. Ciao et bonne chance

    October 6, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/ruziskey2283

    Thank you!

    October 6, 2018

    [deactivated user]

      To add to the discussion, the optional liasons are optional due to either 1) speed-the slower the French speak, the more time they have for liasons.2) Sophistication- there's no other polite way to say this, to add an element of nobility and/or to show one's education is to increase the liasons. I, personally, as a French-Canadian, don't like to use any of the optional liasons. That would be the case for many French-Canadians, again with the exception of those who like to look posh, and all the power to them, that's their choice. (I am never going to pronounce the t and the end of août, never!)

      October 7, 2018

      https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaLouG

      Context is how you tell. And you pronounce the t if it is before a vowel. Say est un oiseau with no liaison, then say it with. It's so much smoother with. Both are right I think, but for ease of pronunciation sometimes the last letter is pronounced if the following word starts with a vowel. Hope this helped!

      October 5, 2018
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