Does "à" used in the constructions like "de ... à", describing time frames, introduce a liaison?

As an example, in a phrase "de matin à soir", would "matin à" be pronounced as [ma.tɛ̃ a] or as [ma.tɛ̃n‿a]?

  • 1
    We say du matin au soir with du = de le and au = à le. Your question still works: I've never heard anyone pronouncing the liaison in such a case. But I'm not sure if there are official rules or only habits.
    – Destal
    Oct 28, 2016 at 15:29
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    There is a recent question about liaison on this SE, and the important part is that liaison is mostly defined by the word before. For example, if it's plural you often do the liaison, but it's forbidden if it's singular, stuff like that. It doesn't really depend on the second word. Nov 20, 2016 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


I am not an expert or a native French speaker, so I can only say what I've learned from studying French as a foreign language.

Liaison does not occur in all contexts. Whether or not it can occur depends on the part of speech of each word, and how the words relate grammatically.

In all the guides to liaison for learners that I've read, liaison after singular nouns is classified as "forbidden." (e.g. see "Spell and Sound", french.about.com) It may occur in some set phrases, but it is wrong to use it outside of those. This is probably the most important point to remember.

It seems liaison can occur before “à” if the preceding word is the adverb "bien" or a verb, but this is optional. Liaison after verbs aside from "est" is rare in any case. Simon Déchamps left a comment giving the following examples where speakers commonly make liaison before “à”:

Bien à vous, viens à moi, aller à la plage, je vis à Paris...

According to Gilles, "viens à moi" is a bit of a set phrase, so some speakers may make liaison here while not making liaison after other verbs such as "aller" or "vis".

Liaison of the plural suffix after a plural noun (resulting in /z/) is possible in some contexts, but not all. I'm not sure if it would be able to occur in this particular circumstance.

  • I'm French and as far as I remember, we don't have lessons about liaisons. So all I'm going to say is based on... my life. "Before “à”, all liaisons are forbidden": I can think of many examples where almost everyone do the liaisons. Bien à vous, viens à moi, aller à la plage, je vis à Paris...
    – Destal
    Oct 28, 2016 at 15:49
  • That Spell and Sound page is wrong, I suggest you just ignore it. The vowel A is not different from others for the purpose of liaisons. Liaisons are permitted after plural nouns; that line was presumably entered in the wrong table, otherwise why would the table have separate entries for singular and plural? I would always sound the liaison in “bien à vous” and “viens à moi”, but I think that's because they're set phrases: I wouldn't normally sound it in “viens à la maison”, or “aller à la plage” or “je vis à Paris” (it isn't wrong to do so, but it sounds a bit affected). Nov 19, 2016 at 20:39
  • @Gilles: Thanks, I suspected it was wrong.
    – sumelic
    Nov 19, 2016 at 20:44
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    @SimonDéchamps Maybe you're a little enthusiast when you sau "almost everyone does those liaisons". I'm a student, and I hear it and say it in "Bien à vous", but not on the others. Maybe sometimes in "Viens à moi" because it's a book-ish sentence so you know you're reading literature, but everyday (for young people), almost no one says the verb liaisons like "je vis à Paris" or "aller à la page" (especially this one. Saying the "r" sounds like I'm listening to France Inter, no disrespect tough ^^) Nov 20, 2016 at 14:11

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