"The security"

Translation:La sécurité

June 7, 2020

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How do you remember accents?


Generally, you pretty much have to memorize them, basically treating accented letters as if they're a different letter from the unaccented letter. If you know the pronunciation of the word, that can help, since the accents often reflect how a word is pronounced. There are some rules and patterns that can simplify things though. A few examples, among many:

  • For verbs ending in "-e_er", there's a rule that the first "e" becomes "è" when conjugated for "je", "tu", "il", "elle", "on", "ils", and "elles". For example, "acheter" becomes "j'achète", "tu achètes", etc.

  • Words that end in "-ity" in English often translate to a very similar word in French, but with "-ité" at the end of the French word. Examples of this include "sécurité", "liberté", and "fraternité".

  • The French prefix "pré-" is equivalent to the English prefix "pre-", meaning "before", so if you have a French word that clearly uses this prefix, you know that first "e" should have an accent aigu. For example, "précédent", "préliminaire", "prédécesseur". Same thing applies for the French prefix "ré-", equivalent to the English prefix "re-" meaning "again".

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