I heard the sentence “je suis desolé” read by a native audio program flashcard app as just “je–suis–désolé”, but then I listened to another one with “suis” in it: “je suis américain” and am I dreaming or is there a slur like “je–swiss–américain” as if the suis is slurred? I tried to find another way to confirm online but I couldn't. On my Ivona Text-to-Speech app there is no slur in the sentence “je suis américain”. Which one is accurate?
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As you may know, in French some letters are silent when they are at the end of a word, for example "s", "t", "d" and "p" (this is what I was taught when I was young).
So, the word depot is pronounced as if the final t were not there, and the same happens with suis, il entend et coup, just to give you a few examples.
However, because of the thing called liaison, when a word ending in "s" is followed by another word starting with a vowel, the consonant is slightly pronounced and for this reason you say "Je sui- zAméricain" as much as you say "Je sui- zItalien", or "Je sui- zEspagnol".
I forgot to add another frequent expression where you need to create such a liaison, that is pas encore.
Yes - there is. The s at the end of "suis" liaise with the a at the beginning of américain. You should pronounce it "Je sui-zaméricain", with a Z sound.
You would not have a liaison in "Je suis désolé", since the first letter after the s of "suis" is not a vowel. The s would then be silent.