Pronunciation / elision and deletion

A1 Breakthrough
In French, we do not pronounce all the sounds. Why? Explanations and examples.


In French, it is difficult to hear the end of each word since 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 consonant (“ e ”, “ a ” most of the times, sometimes “ i ”, “​​​​​​​ u ”), of the first word disappears before a word starting with a vowel. When writing, the elided vowel is represented with an apostrophe; “ ' ”.
For pronunciation, the consonant preceding the elided vowel forms a syllable with the following word:
Audio file
L'employé, l'employée, l'ordinateur, l'université, l'immeuble, l'autobus.
  Un employé / une employée / les ordinateurs / les universités / les immeubles / les autobus.
However, in the plural form:
Audio file
Les employés, les employées, les ordinateurs, les universités, les immeubles, les autobus.
The elided vowel is most of the time an “ e ” (le, ce, me, je, te, se, ne, de, que, parce que, puisque, lorsque, jusque...), as well as an “​​​​​​​ a ” (la), an “​​​​​​​ i ”, in the structure si + il -> s'il.



In some common words and only when spoken in an informal situations, vowels or consonants can disappear:
 - Deletion of [y] in “​​​​​​​ tu ”  in front of 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. ”

Practical exercises

Pronunciation: elision and deletion

5 exercises
Look • Listen • Pronunciation (liaison, linkings and elision)