Look at this phrase:

il sait utiliser son monde

And you can listen to pronunciation here.

Why unlike what is most of the time expected (when a word ends with a consonant and the next words begins with a vowel), the ending "t" is not merged with the beginning "u" of the next word utiliser ? While we usually pronounce alike words with merged pronunication

  • 3
    You are talking about liaisons. The are hardly ever compulsory. And in your example sentence it can be made but it is not compulsory. We have thirteen questions tagged liaisons and answering your would only lead to repeats, so I suggest you read them.
    – None
    Jul 11, 2014 at 20:59
  • 1
    @Laure Liaisons are a difficult subject, there's room for more than one question about them. If you think that this question is a repeat of an earlier one, please vote to close as a duplicate. Jul 12, 2014 at 7:41
  • @Gilles I did not want to vote to close because we have already lots of information about the subject but spread around different answers so if the question were to be closed it would be difficult to give just one link. And I did not answer because I had nothing new to add to these previous answers and I'm reluctant to copy paste other people's answers and comments... hence my comment.
    – None
    Jul 12, 2014 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


Liaison in French is a complex phenomenon. It is not systematic. The general idea is that a liaison is only made when there is a tight connection between the two words, and not made when the two words are perceived as belonging to separate parts of the sentence. There are many intermediate cases where it is optional. In these cases, the liaison tends to be made in more careful speech (poetry, or when you want to sound posh) and dropped in casual or familiar speech.

A liaison after a verb is usually optional. In this specific example, I would say [sɛ.y.ti.li.ze] in everyday speech, and [sɛ.t‿y.ti.li.ze] only in very formal contexts (it sounds affected). Offhand, I think the only verb after which I commonly sound a liaison is être: I might pronounce “Il est utilisé” [i.lɛ.y.ti.li.ze] (or [i.le.y.ti.li.ze]) in an informal discussion, but I would do say [i.lɛ.t‿y.ti.li.ze] in semi-formal contexts like a presentation.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.