French Podcast Transcripts

Learn the secret of ‘E’ in French!

You will improve by 100%! guaranteed! Today, we will learn the secret of ‘E’ in French! What do I mean? Often vowels in spelling don’t match the sound you will make. Think of English words such as basically, chocolate, or every… Same in French…Sometimes the vowel ‘E’ is dropped…I call it the secret life of the letter ‘e’ or simply said I want to explain a few French rules today!

Alors déjà, un petit rappel: To start a little refresher:

– French vowels ALWAYS make the same sound

– French vowels are always short. We don’t have long and short, even if you see a cluster of two vowels together!- The letter ‘E’ always makes the sound ‘E’, like in Alone or Away. This is called ‘Schwa’ in phonetics

Let’s practice ! E, E — Cerise, lever, cheval, prenez

#1 – The letter ‘E’ sound like ‘é’ only if you see a little sign on it

First rule: The letter ‘E’ sound like ‘é’ only if you see a little sign on it. Listen to the différence ‘e’ …’é’

#2 – You don’t voice the vowel ‘E’ at the end of French words, but you voice the precedent consonant.

Let’s practice:- Baguette – You voice the T sound only when the vowel ‘E’ is added.

– France – You voice a ‘S’ sound because the letter ‘C’ makes a ‘S’ sound in front of E…

– Encore – You voice a ‘R’ sound and you don’t stress the ‘E’

#3 – Ignore the ‘E’ at the end of a word ending with the vowel ‘I’ or the letter ‘é’

Such as – Marie, you don’t voice the ‘E’ at the end although it is written

– Brie, you don’t voice the ‘E’ at the end although it is written

– Enchantée you don’t voice the ‘E’ although it is written

#4 –Within a word, the vowel ‘E’ is dropped, if preceded by a the pattern ‘consonant’ and followed by ‘consonant+vowel’

Commençons avec mon prénom…. Let’s start with my first name, the spelling does not match the pronunciation! I say “Sévrine’ when actually the spelling is SE VE RI NE. Severine – let’s study the pattern ‘V’ ‘E’ ‘RI’ – the E is dropped ‘SEV’RINE’

Samedi (Saturday) – Let’s study the pattern ‘M’ ‘E’ ‘DI’ – the E is dropped ”SAM’DI’

Doucement (softly)- Let’s study the pattern ‘C’ ‘E’ ‘ME’ – The E is dropped ‘DOUC’MENT

‘Boulangerie’ (Bakery)- Let’s study the pattern ‘G’ ‘E’ ‘RIE’ – The E is dropped ‘BOULANG’RIE’le ‘E’ is dropped, even in a string of detached words!!

– Est-ce que tu le promets ? (Are your promising it?) – the ‘E’ is softened in ‘LE’

– Je ne veux pas (I don’t want) Je n’veux pas-

Elle revient demain = in spoken French, le ‘E’ is dropped (she is coming back tomorrow)

– Je suis dans le bus (I am in the bus): in spoken French, le ‘E’ is dropped

If two consonants precede the letter ‘E’, then you have to voice it,

– Mercredi (Wednesday)

– Cheval (a horse)

And lastly (yes you made it!!!)or to avoid three consonants coming together

– le gouvernement

– Justement

– Directement

So now you know how to pronounce…. Au Revoir! Au Revoir ..

Voilà c’est la fin de cet épisode ! Now you know how to learn the secret of ‘E’ in French!

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