The Omission of “e”

The Omission of “e”

This is possibly my first post on any type of colloquialism. In spoken French, in certain cases, the letter “e” is commonly dropped from a word in order to make it easier to pronounce. (Please note, the omission is only in spoken French; in written French you will still have to include the “e”.)

This omission only takes place when the “e” (this is actually called a caduc, if you want to know the technical term for it) is preceded and followed by one pronounced consonant.

A few examples:

Samedi = sam’di

Mademoiselle = mad’moiselle

Je te vois = J’te vois

It’s important to note that in some cases the “e” caduc must not be omitted. If the word has three consonants, then the omission would be making a phonetic faux pas. For example, the word vendredi, would never be spoken as vendr’di. It would be difficult to pronounce, and it is also unpleasant to the ear.

Here are some common contractions:

Je = j’

Je veux aller à la plage. → J’veux aller à la plage.

(Note: When j’ is followed by a word beginning with c, f, p, q, s, or t, it is commonly pronounced as sh.)

Ce = c’

Tu comprends ce qu’il dit? → Tu comprends c’qu’il dit?

Me = m’

Tu me fais rire. → Tu m’fais rire.

De = d’

Elle a décidé de partir. → Elle a décidé d’partir.

Te = t’

Tu vas te coucher maintenant? → Tu vas t’coucher maintenant?

Le = l’

Elles vont le faire plus tard. → Elles vont l’faire plus tard.

Se = s’

Il se met en colère facilement. → Il s’met en colère facilement.

Que = qu’

Il faut que tu partes. → Il faut qu’tu partes.

Remember, this is colloquial and you need not follow this if you don’t want to. Although, the more you learn French and speak it, this will actually come naturally when speaking, and you will find that utilising it makes it a lot easier to pronounce certain words.

 

I may come back again this week with another post that follows this same pattern.

Again, thank you for the feedback!

 

Merci à vous !

Courtney

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