French Language/pronunciation of e
QUESTION: I was taught to pronounce est (3rd pers sing of etre), as in "C'est moi", like e accent grave, as in "cette". But most people seem to pronounce it like e accent aigu, to rhyme with "j'ai". Which is correct? Or is it maybe a matter of regional differences? Same question with "francais". Does the second syllable sound like e accent grave or e accent aigu? Merci...
ANSWER: Hello Lala,
Thak you for your question.
There are regiona differences of course. est pronounced like " é " can be heard in south of France.
For me, the wovel found in : est, français, cette and j'ai has the same proounciation (I'm from North East of France).
I hope this helps
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QUESTION: Thanks, Caro. I was with you with est, francais, and cette - all like e accent grave - as in "mere". (sorry - my computer will not let me make accent marks). But "j'ai"? I have never heard of it pronounced other than with e accent aigu. So are you saying that in "J'ai parle" (add accent aigu to the past participle), the first and third syllables do NOT rhyme???? Is this just in Alsace/Lorraine, or in Parisian French as well????
Interesting question. Discussing with my husband, we realize that we pronounce 'j'ai' pronounced like "cette" (sort of accent grave) when it is the verb avoir : j'ai de l'argent
But when it is an auxiliary (for the passé composé) we tend to pronounce it like "jé"
I had a look at forvo, a crowdsourcing pronounciation guide :
If you click on the blue arrow you can listen to 4 pronounciations.
And it seems that there are some différences, probably due to regional accents.
I was not aware of this, so thank you for asking this question!