https://www.duolingo.com/rafaelb

Pronunciation difference between 'es' and 'et'

When hearing, for instance, the sentence 'tu es un lion', how do I know that is the expected answer and not 'tu et un lion' (you and a lion)?

5 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/NvrG0Smpl

First of all, "you and a lion" would translate "toi et un lion", but I can understand the difficulty due to the vocal synthesis. The only difference between the two sentences when pronuncing it would be the liaison between "es" and "un". "tu es un lion" is in fact pronunced "tu es-z-un lion".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elka

I agree with NvrGOSmpl - es is like "het up" or "let up" etc and "et" like "a" in "hay" or "way"etc.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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There is indeed a difference in pronunciation between "es" and "et". The first one is a closed "é" (can't find a perfect equivalent in English, sorry) and the second one an open mouthed "è" (like "let")

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NvrG0Smpl

It seems you switched the two pronunciations: "et" is pronunced /e/ "é" and "es" is pronunced /ε/ "è". Furthermore, when you are talking to someone from most of the south of France, he/she will pronunce both words /e/ "é", whereas every French should and will make the liaison "tu es z'un lion"

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Oups! you're right for the switch. And yes, many French people wrongly pronounce these words. For example, it is very common that many wrongly use the "é" sound instead of "è" at the end of words like : Poulet, Français, etc. But then, it becomes a "purist" concern!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NvrG0Smpl

As a southern french, I personnally don't consider it a mistake to pronunce these words with an "é", but a part of my accent... ;-)

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talae
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Just checked in the Larousse dictionary (http://www.larousse.com/en/dictionaries/french-english/poulet), and must confess I'm amazed to see you're right about « poulet ». I was pretty sure it was an "é", but it is indeed an "è" (pulɛ) . My bad !

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/daymann

It seems that if the French pronounce it this way, it isn't wrong then

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elka

Sitesurf - this is very odd. I think you've switched them again!

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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No, this time I am sure, poulet and français are to be pronounced "è", like "let".

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elka

Strange! "let" has a very short "e" sound. the equivalent of francais in English would be "ate" or "late", roughly.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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Yes indeed, it is definitely a short è, no diphthong here, so you cannot associate "ate" nor "late" to that sound. "Les, lait, anglais, paraît..." same story, short è.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NvrG0Smpl

"Les" is not such a good example since it is usually pronunced /le/ "é" even if it can sometimes be pronunced /lɛ/

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talae
Talae
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It is sometimes pronounced /lɛ/... incorrectly. I can't think of any situation when it is correct. Accents are fine by my book, and even charming sometimes, but it's not "proper" French. Any example that would show I'm wrong ?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elka

I think one of us is French and the other English, and we each know how we would represent our own language's pronunciation! I'd write "touche" but I haven't got accents on my keyboard.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elka

Thanks! But - "late" in English sounds just like all of those to me. Which I think you mean too. The puzzle for me is that you give that a grave accent - which I understand to be like "pere" and "mere" etc (forgive no accent). Can you clarify where I'm going wrong?

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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There is a difference between "late" and "let" in English, because in "late", you have a diphtong, i.e. there are two sounds :'è + i'. What I meant is that "es, français, les, lait, anglais, paraît..." are all to be pronounced è - like "let" or 'père/mère', with a short open sound, no diphtong. Now when you learn the basics of a foreign language, you generally learn the so called "pure" pronunciation, i.e. without any regional accent. I learnt English at school with teachers speaking more or less the "Oxford-Cambridge" non-accented English. If you learn French, you will probably have to learn to pronounce it as the Tours inhabitants (240km south-west from Paris).

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elka

Only one vowel sound in "late"! What is this dipthong business? I confess my English is more Cambridge than Oxford, which has its own idiosyncracies, but not two sounds in "late".....which has a completely different sound from "pere" etc.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sitesurf
Sitesurf
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My first English lesson, when I was 11, a long time ago, started by the pronunciation of vowels. Number 1 is a duck, number 2 is a goose, etc. then number 8 is a snake = diphtong = {ei} in phonetics ; and number 10 is a hen (single sound = {e} in phonetics = è in French. Therefore, late is 8 and let is 10... and père as well.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mjlagrande
mjlagrande
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If you say it really slowly, right before the t sound there's a little "i" (or "ee") sound. As an english speaker, I didn't notice it until I realized that it's impossible to sustain the sound "ai" (as in lay lei or late). There are actually two sounds, l(eh) + (ee)t.
Anyhoo, père, mère, lait, les, anglais, ect. use the "let" sound. Et, mangez, mangé, ect. use the "late" sound.

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tiab.10811

you literally pronounce the s in tu es, so I don't see much confusion, and that is very rare ion Freench it seems, so one would be very lucky for that, et is like "eh" or "ey", depends, or not really, it's what you hear

5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/emberlym
emberlym
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isn't it suppose to have a liaison with "est un"?

4 years ago
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