Pronunciation / Elision and Deletion

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The elision

In French, it's difficult to hear the boundaries between words because the pronunciation of the final consonant of a word can be combined with the first vowel of the following word. 
In a group of words grammatically combined, the final vowel (most often "e," "a," sometimes "i," "u") of the first word is deleted before the word that begins with a vowel. The elided vowel is shown by writing an apostrophe: " ' ".
 
For pronunciation, the consonant that precedes the elided vowel forms a syllable with the vowel of the following word:

l'infirmier, l'infirmière, l'ophtalmologue, l’œil, l'oreille, l'homme, l'hôpital,... 
un infirmier / une infirmière / un ophtalmologue / un œil / une oreille / un homme / un hôpital

But in the plural form:

les infirmiers, les infirmières, les ophtalmologues, les yeux, les oreilles, les hommes, les hôpitaux.

The elided vowel is most often an "e" (le, ce, me, je, te, se, ne, de, que, parce que, puisque, lorsque, jusque...), also an "a" (la) and an "i," in the structure si + il -> s'il.


Deletion

In certain words that are used often, and only when spoken in an informal situation, vowels or consonants may be deleted.
 
 - Deletion of [y] in "tu" before a vowel:

Tu en veux ? -> T'en veux ?

- Deletion of [l] in "il(s)":

"Il y a" > "Y a"

"Il n'y a rien" > "Y a rien"

"Il n'y a pas de chemin." > "Y a pas de chemin."

Exercices de mise en pratique

Et une comédie ?

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8 exercises
Watch • Listen • Grammar (interrogation, verbes / verbes pronominaux) • Vocabulary (vie quotidienne) • Pronunciation (Marques de l'oral) • Culture(s) (Communication / Communication non verbale)

Pronunciation: elision and deletion

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5 exercises
Watch • Listen • Pronunciation (liaison, enchainements et élision)

Assessment: Can you do the elision?

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1 exercise
Pronunciation (liaison, enchainements et élision)