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What is the difference in pronunciation between

le livre rouge

and--

les livres rouges

?

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Non pour les noms et adjectifs ; les s finals sont muets –  cl-r Jul 28 at 16:38
1  
"Le" is pronounced like "duh" with an L instead of a D. "Les" is pronounces like "way" with an L instead of a W. Rouge and rouges are pronounced the same-- the s at the end is normally silent and has no effect on pronunciation. –  Aerovistae Jul 28 at 19:36
    
@Aerovistae your description of "le" is not correct. I would not be able to describe in terms of English syllables however. "Les" pronounced "way" with an L would have a French (France) sound. The 'e' can be pronounced as the 'e' in 'Pelt'. This is what is used in Canada. –  Alexandre P. Levasseur Jul 28 at 21:41
    
Sounds correct to an American ear. Close enough, anyway. I mean if OP encounters ANY French audio they're immediately going to figure it out, so... –  Aerovistae Jul 28 at 22:17

1 Answer 1

In this case, only the distinction between articles le (pronounced /lə/) and les (pronounced /le/ or /lɛ/) marks the difference.

In most cases, the added s does not change the pronunciation, but sometimes a liaison between an adjective and the noun may change:

un grand espace /œ̃.ɡʁɑ̃.(t‿)ɛs.pas/
de grands espaces /də.gʁɑ̃.z‿ɛs.pas/

la grande ère glacière /la.ɡʁɑ̃.d‿ɛʁ.ɡla.sjɛʁ/
les grandes ères glacières /le.ɡʁɑ̃d(ə).z‿ɛʁ.ɡla.sjɛʁ/

And as always, the occasional exceptions.

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