Pronunciation / Linking consonant to vowel

A1 Breakthrough
In oral communication, in what case do we have the right to link two words in French? Work on fluidity through this help.
In French, when we speak, we do not separate all the words: we group the words, we link them up. We pronounce a group of words as if we were pronouncing a very long word: we call this a rhythmic group. It often corresponds to one idea.

How can we link words up in a sentence or in a group of words? We take the last pronounced consonant sound of a word and add it to to the first sound of the next word, which starts with a vowel. This is called linking: the consonant sound of a word is associated with the vowel sound of the next word.

For example, in the sentence “elle habite en ville”, there are two possible linkings:
  • elle_habite”: “elle” ends with a consonant sound (l/) and “habite” starts with a vowel sound (/bit/),
  • habite_en”: “habite” ends with a consonant sound (/bit/) and “en” is a vowel sound (/ɑ̃/).
Be careful, there can’t be any linking in “en ville” because “en” is a vowel sound (/ɑ̃/) and “ville” starts with a consonant sound (/vil/).

Other examples:
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Il est un vrai casse-tête « Il est » is pronounced /i lɛ/.
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pour avancer is pronounced /pu Ra vɑ̃ se/. 

Within a group, the final “e ” of the first word is silent if the second word starts with a vowel. The last pronounced consonant sound is associated with the vowel with which the word starts.
Audio file
Votre_intérieur is pronounced /vɔ tRɛ̃ te RjœR/.
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Facile_et évident is pronounced /fa si le e vi dɑ̃/.
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Face_au rangement « Face au » is pronounced /fa so/.
Audio file
Faire_ici is pronounced /fɛ Ri si/.

Practical exercises

Pronunciation: Linking consonants

4 exercises
Look • Pronunciation (liaison, linkings and elision)