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Get ready for beginners’ French
Get ready for beginners’ French

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4 Sounds and silence

As you’ve now seen, another characteristic of French language pronunciation is that some letters are silent. An important difference compared to English is that the final letter of words is often (but not always) silent. Have a go at Activity 4 for some more examples.

Activity 4 Silent endings

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Listen to the audio clips below and decide whether each final ‘t’ is pronounced or silent.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 8
Audio 8 et
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

a. 

T is silent


b. 

T is pronounced


The correct answer is a.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 9
Audio 9 lait
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

a. 

T is silent


b. 

T is pronounced


The correct answer is a.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 10
Audio 10 test
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

a. 

T is silent


b. 

T is pronounced


The correct answer is b.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 11
Audio 11 ticket
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

a. 

T is silent


b. 

T is pronounced


The correct answer is a.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 12
Audio 12 petit
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

a. 

T is silent


b. 

T is pronounced


The correct answer is a.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 13
Audio 13 huit
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

a. 

T is silent


b. 

T is pronounced


The correct answer is b.

Discussion

For information, here is the meaning of each word:

  • et: and
  • lait: milk
  • test: test
  • ticket: ticket
  • petit: small
  • huit: eight