Ils mangent vs Il Mange
Are "Ils mangent" and "Il mange" homophones? Do they sound the exact same? Duolingo wanted me to transcribe the former, and I typed the later. I'm not sure if they should sound different, or if the platform should mark either answer as correct (which it does not currently do).
But with these two phrases, there is literally no difference in pronunciation (nor should there be), so it is impossible to hear the difference, unless there is something more in the sentence revealing the number of people.
In real life context, you'll know if you're talking about a single person or multiple people based on earlier parts of the conversation. But when you just take these two phrases out of context, you can not tell the difference.
I agree. The "Ils mangent" and "Il mange" is like saying they eat and he eats. It is like a conjugation. Therefore, it is not really considered a typo because in English it is not a typo if you say they eat instead of he eats because the 2 statements are different in meaning and spelling.
Ils/Il, Elle/Elles are homophones unless the following sound is a vowel in which case the otherwise silent s of the plural forms are pronounced as 'z' (french consonant liaison).
I think 'mange' and 'mangent' are likewise homophones. I don't know if they are ever pronounced differently.
As far as I can tell, the question is broken and needs to accept both answers.
Yep, "mange" and "mangent" are pronounced exactly the same. Indeed the question needs to accept both.
As a rule, the PLURAL MARK "-ent" ON A VERB in French is never pronounced. So yes, "Il mange" and "Ils mangent" are homophones. But please note that "-ent" CAN be pronounced for other kind of words, like adverbs : "facilement" "inutilement"...etc
you are right, you would hear the 't' in mangent-elles. Amazingly, the singular construct uses a 't' to help the pronunciation: mange-elle is incorrect, it goes mange-t-elle, and sounds exactly like its plural equivalent.
You will hear a difference however, if you keep the non-interrogative form and happen to have a liaison there:
il mange au restaurant, ils mangent_au restaurant (liaison where i added the _, 't' is pronounced)
I find it weird, that one would need the -t- in mange-t-elle. to me mange-elle sound just fine and fluid. Like "mon gel". You don't put a t between the g and the -el ^^ Do you know more about this? Why the t is needed and why it is a t and not a s,z,k. It is so random to me.
It's not random when you remember that French grammar is very rigid, and that liaising consonants are an important aspect of the grammar. Because 3rd person singular verb forms that don't end in T or D lack a consonant, the T gets added to maintain liaison when the forms are inverted: "elle mange" becomes "mange-t-elle?" vs. "elle dit" becoming "dit-elle?" (the consonant is already present).
- "Ils mangent" and "Il mange" are mostly homophones. To my understanding, there is slightly more exaggeration of the L in Ils, and the G in mangent. If in doubt, I click the "slower" voice so that I can tell which version they are using. The voice does a surprisingly good job of differentiating, so I don't think the platform should mark it a typo (though it is probably a common mistake).
- There are all sorts of exceptions for pronunciation rules, but in general, if you have a word starting with a vowel directly after a word with a "silent" ending (i.e. 'ent'), you usually pronounce the ending. Hope this helps!
yes in this case you pronounce the "t" but not the "en". But I can't really explain all the exceptions because French is a language with a ton of exceptions. As a global rule, when the last letter is a "t" and the next first letter is a vowel, you pronouce the "t", otherwise you don't. ex : Ils sont arrivés (pronounced). Ils sont chez eux (not pronounced).
This rule certainly also has exceptions, but I can't think of any right now. Anyway, if you speak with French people, you will notice that we are not really strict on liaisons.
In real life they are a little tiny bit different, and I hear it in the duolingo recordings too. Yes there are no extra sounds at the ends of the words, but with ils mangent there is a tiny space after the word before the next word begins. Kind of like (this is exaggerated) il-uh mange-uh. But with il mange each word goes directly to the next word without any pause. Hope that helps a little.
I lived in a country with a language different than my native one, and i found that sometimes, just sometimes, native speakers utter sounds differently in one context or another and are not aware of it. Cannot be made aware of it, at times. Case in point: Americans and t's. They barely pronounce the 't' in certain words, to the point that it sounds softer than your average 'd' to me (mountain, bottle, wanted...), and i could not for the life of me convince any of them that this was true. I got a couple of "yeah maybe it's a bit softer in that word", but had a strong feeling that there was mostly the wish for a change of topic. It makes the sound very difficult to mimic!
So anyway, maybe this is another example (i'm a native speaker of french and cannot imagine hearing a difference between il mange and ils mangent)
The thing you bring up about Americans and soft t's is very true. In "mountain", for instance, we (or at least the region I live in) use a glottal stop. Instead of sounding out the t, we kind of stop the air in the back of our throats to make a very soft "t" sound, and it usually comes out sort of like "moun-nn"
This video does a much better job of describing it.
There is a difference in the way the "le" (singular) and "les" (plural) are pronounced. This way, I can tell whether to type "le garçon mange" or "les garçons mangent", for instance.
It's hard to explain the difference in pronounciation between "le" and "les" in English because it's not my mother tongue, but I'll try... "le" ends with "-uh", and "les" ends with "-is".
Ils mangent and Il mange are indeed homophones and unless the question is phrased with enough data that allows one to know whether the conjugation is to be singular or plural, there is no way to tell the difference, even if one plays it "slow". "Il mange seul." (He eats alone) tells the listener that the conjugation should be in the sigular, while "Ils mangent ensemble" (They eat together) advises the conjugation should be plural. If the system simply says "Il mange" or "Ils mangment", it shoud accept either answer. In my opinion.
The forms of Je, Tu, Il/Elle/On, and Ils/Elles sound the same with most of the verbs. I am taking French as a class right now, and I can understand how annoying it can be with oral exams (such as Duolingo for the most part), so I would understand if someone were to ask for it to receive a typo mark rather than an incorrect mark. However, it takes a trained ear to hear the slight difference, despite the fact that the last consonant of a word is rarely pronounced in French. However, if you listen carefully to the word after "Ils" or the verb, you will hear the last consonant if the following word begins with a vowel. For example, "Ils mangent" sounds almost the same as "Il mange," but other verbs, such as être (to be), the term "Ils ont" will sound like "Il sont." This is an example of when you will hear the "s" in "Ils." I hope that you found this to be helpful. c:
I don't hear difference unless there is a vowel after "mangent" http://translate.google.com/#fr/en/Ils%20mangent%20la%20banane.%0AIl%20mange%20la%20banane.%0AIls%20mangent%20une%20banane.%0AIl%20mange%20une%20banane.
Yes, context clues would be great, but often there is no context clue. Or an incorrect one - such as when a group of people are eating an orange, or several people own a single dress. I am sure in real life context is helpful, but here in the land of Duolingo it is often just confusing.
I can't remember now how the program says it, but typically the difference between il/ ils and their verbs can be heard in the last pronounced consonant. So in "Il mange" the -g sound is short and succinct. However, in "Ils mangent" the -g sound is drawn out longer. It is difficult to hear these little differences at first, but the more you hear the more you will notice and pick up on little distinction like these.