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For many word such as mange and mangent for example can you tell which is which please fix it! because maybe its just me but I can't tell...
mange, manges and mangent are pronounced the same, you have to look for the subject of the verb to know how to write it.
Okay, when I lived in France they told me there was a little difference. A little more 'pressure' at the 'e' at the end, on "mangent".
I think I can hear a slight difference, but it is almost unnoticable. Maybe it's just me :) In most sencentes you can guess which is which, for example: "Les chiens mangent" vs. "Le chien mange" (Les // Le). But I agree that it's a problem if you encounter a sentence that could go either way.
Katherine, I don't know who told you there was a little difference, there is NONE. In the example you give le chien/les chiens, the difference is in the article, not in the verb.
In my example I meant there was a difference between "mange" and "mangent". Not chien/chiens. I've heard from a lot of people that there is no difference, I'm just saying that while I lived in France, my french family said there was a slight one. So maybe to some people there is, maybe it's a regional thing, I dunno...
Yes, I understood your point. Your French hosts were wrong: mange and mangent haven't even the slightest difference in pronunciation, nowhere on the territory.
Katrine, my French teacher also said something similar. She said on words like mange you almost don't say the ending sound, it's there slightly but that with mangent/manges it is more clearly there. Personally, I would trust your French family if I were you over random Internet folks.
Don't trust some random internet folks if you wish but you can trust the dictionnary : http://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/Annexe:Conjugaison_en_fran%C3%A7ais/manger
I will look very pretentious, most certainly, but I am not exactly one of random Internet folks. I am French, educated and living in France and I will repeat once again that mange, manges, mangent are all pronunced exactly the same way when standing alone. Now, if they are inserted before a word starting with a vowel, and provided the speaker uses liaisons, you may hear: 'tu manges [z] encore' or 'ils mangent [t] encore'.
petiteoiseau: Good to know that others have been told the same! Thanks for the support ;) Sitesurf: I do believe you, and the others. But I also believe that my french family wouldn't deceive me, so I believe that they believe there is a slight difference. - Either way, I can make myself understood, but thanks to all who have pitched in, trying to clear this up ;)