explanation vocabulary / grammar video show / hide Nasal a

The following graphemes indicate a nasal a: en, an, em, am

an = year  
mourant = dying  
trancher = to cut through  
paysan = peasant  
manger = to eat  
demander = to ask  
ambigüe = ambiguous  
jambon = ham  
(une) dent = tooth  
entendre = to hear, to understand  
envahir = to invade  
entrer = to enter  
vendre = to sell  
tenter = to try  
embarrassé = embarrassed  
embêtant = unpleasant, annoying  
empêcher = to hinder  

This does not apply (as said before) when after am / an / en / em follows a vowel or another m or n . Then the vowels are spoken like an open a and e.

ami = friend
lame = blade
gamin = boy, rascal

Also here with the nasal a we suggest to first form a normal, open a and then change it to a nasal one by using the nose as a resonance room.

Try to repeat the following:


savane = savannah savant = savant both together

It is important that you understand that the sounds are different. The nasal o is formed with cuspidal lips, the tongue is pressed down in the back part of the mouth. The nasal a is formed with the lips more stilted. Some words only differ in this single sound. However, do not give up quite yet. With a bit of practice you will manage. And never forget. People will understand you from the context. Therefore, do not worry too much about it.

sons   sang   both together
long   lent   both together
ton   temps   both together

Following are some more examples of differences between the two sounds. Repeat them and get a feeling for the creation of these sounds. .

other examples
o nasales o son a nasales a sang all together
o nasales o long a nasales a lent all together
o nasales o ton a nasales a temps all together


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