2.6 Liaison

Liaison occurs when a mute final consonant (s, z, n, t) is connected with the vowel of the following word. If you think about this, you will notice that it only occurs when the preceding word ends in s, z, n or t, and the following word starts with a vowel or a mute h. If the mute final consonant happens to be an s, it is then pronounced in a voiced way, like in crazy.

  Examples    
French correct and wrong English
  un homme a man
  tout entier complete(ly)
  avant hier day before yesterday
  plus ou moins more or less
  Comment allez vous? How are you?
  bien étrange quite strange

Following some examples for the voiced s between two vowels:

  Examples    
French correct and wrong English
  Vous avez dormi. You have slept.
  chez elle at her place
  nous en avons we have of it
  très utile very useful

Now we come back to the problem of the unpronounced aspirated h:
A not-aspirated h has the liason, the merger between the consonant and the following vowel. An aspirated h does not have this liason. The words are not connected, but rather remain separated.

  Listen to the examples!  
les hommes
  aber  
  les haches

For comparison both together:

  Attention!  
les hommes <=> les haches

If you now ask, how to know the difference, the answer is again in the dictionary. An aspirated h is marked with an apostrophe (').






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