French questions

Two questions:

  1. How do you pronounce “mangent-ils” in French? (Or any other “ils” verb followed by a vowel)

  2. Is there any difference between “qu’on” and “que l’on”?

The “ent” ending doesn’t affect the pronounciation of the verbe. Do you know how to pronouce “mange”? it is the same.

I’m not a native speaker, but fluent.

I would make the liaison for the first one - as if it were written “mange-t-il” (which is a different expression, of course). I may be wrong though - I never could remember every single last rule for liaisons.

“qu’on” and “que l’on” most definitely are pronounced differently - you hear the ‘l’ in the second one. In fact, I believe the ‘l’ is only added to aid pronounciation (but then why not just use “qu’on”? Good question.)

Regarding 1, Zazie is right. Mangent would be pronounced as ‘mange’ Likewise, the ‘s’ at the end of “ils” is silent. But I believe your question dealt more with whether or not the ‘t,’ while silent, at the end of mangent would be carried over to ils to make a liason? If that is your question, I can’t answer it with 100% accuracy, but I believe that mangent-ils is pronounced ‘manj-il’, with no liason. If not, I’m sure Mudshark or some better suited to answer will be in to correct me soon.
Oh, and welcome to the Boards, quelquechose!

Appologies for the simult-post with DarrenS. Your post didn’t show up in preview on account of my computer taking forever–that is, by the time a preview is actually displayed, I’m usually four minutes behind the real time anyway. Sorry!

In my second question I was referring to usage, not pronunciation. As far as I know they are both the same, mais je voulais être certain.

The reason I ask the first one is that I have heard it both ways, and I wasn’t sure whether the “t” was supposed to be pronounced or not.

Also, I have thought of a third and completely unrelated question. In the subjuctive, how does one indicate an event that would normally be imperfect? In writing I believe it would be: “Je doute qu’ils eussent faim” for example. But I’ve heard that the imperfect subjunctive isn’t used in speech, so what is used instead?

Thanks for your help.

I was in French Immersion in school, so while I’m not a native speaker of French, I’m relatively fluent. I was under the impression that in “mangent-ils”, you would pronounce the t.

As for the usage of “que l’on” vs. “qu’on”, I was taught to use “que l’on” because first, it’s easier to pronounce, and second, “qu’on” sounds like “con”, which is (in Quebec at least) a rather rude word for stupid.

I am sorry, I didn’t even think of the liaison! I was saying that you do not pronounce the “ent” but in this case, you dopers are correct, there is a liaison to be made.
Mangent-ils : you DO pronounce the T, because it just…er… flows better! (and there is a vowel) :wink:
Geez, I can’t even explain my own language… I suck in grammar too…

*La plupart de vous avez tort, sauf Zazie qui a raison.

On prononce la lettre t en “mangent-ils”*: [mãZ til]

The “t” is definetely pronounced. A normally silent consonant followed by a word beginning by a wowel is pronounced. So, you would actually pronounce something like “manj til”.

And there’s no difference between “qu’on” and “que l’on”. The latter is the correct way to write/pronounce it, while “qu’on” is an usual and popular shortening.

Would that it were that simple, clairobscur.

I learned very early on in French that the rules for when the liaison is made or not are pretty complex and (seemingly) somewhat abritrary. e.g. for “et” (and) one never ‘liases’ -

“et il a dit…”

even though it follows the pattern you described. As a native speaker you probably don’t even have to think about this stuff, but those of us who are not native speakers have had to learn the rules “manually”.

Yes, DarrenS… I can tell you that the rules sucks, as there are certainly more exceptions than “normality”!
I am so glad it is my native language… so I don’t have to learn it now. I realized how hard French was when I was tutoring my way thru my college year in Mass… Geez…
Vive l’anglais! :wink:

I’d say “je doute qu’ils aient faim”. The imperfect subjunctive exists only for two reasons:

  1. When you’re a school doing dictations, it is the grammatical equivalent of a camouflaged pit full of sharp poison-tipped stakes. It’s been quite a few years since I last had to deal with that, but there’s a case in which there is no phonetic difference, but you have to use the imperfect subjunctive because of the concordance des temps, and if you don’t spot this and leave out the accent circonflexe, that’s four points down the pan.

  2. I can’t remember in which book it is, but there’s a Roman centurion in Asterix called Encoreeutilfalluquejelesus, which in my opinion justifies this annoying tense’s continued existence.

By the way, isn’t Jacques doing well at Evian? He’s playing this masterfully.