I'm very confused about the pronunciation of pas encore. I've always thought it was said with the liaison since it follows the rule of an ending consonant before a word beginning with a vowel. However, I often hear native French speakers say it without the liaison.

Which is correct? With or without the liaison? Or are they both correct? Do they have a different implied meaning or usage (personal/formal)?


7 Answers 7


I think both pronunciations (with liaison and without liaison) are common. Personally I use both.

With the liaison, the meaning is usually “Ce moment n'est pas encore arrivé”, that is “Not yet”. But I guess the usage varies, and the liaison could be omitted.

However when encore is distinctively stressed (Pas Encore !), the liaison is necessarily omitted… paZencore would sound so pretty weird. And in this case the meaning is most probably “Ah non, pas Encore une fois !”… “Not again!”.

  • 4
    Merci, I never noticed the usage distinction of "Not yet" vs. "Not again" with liaison. I think that helps.... Are there any other common examples of this sort of distinction because of liaisons? Commented May 31, 2012 at 21:07
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    @BryanDenny, it isn't the difference of meaning which influences the liaison, it is the difference of emphasis. The fact that one meaning is often associated with an emphasis and not the other shouldn't hide the root cause. Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 6:57
  • @Unfrancophone Thanks, I understand :) Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 12:29
  • How general is this rule? Does it apply to other liaison situations (that is, is the liaison often not obligatory and usually not used when the following item is stressed?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 2, 2012 at 16:35
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    The only times I've heard liaisons with emphasis is when the liaison itself is emphasized, i.e. in school dictations where the teacher emphasizes the liaison so that pupils don't forget a silent letter. Commented May 21, 2013 at 12:06

As a rule of thumb, you could pronounce (but not obligatorily) the liaison when meaning "not yet" :

  • Il n'est pas [z] encore arrivé : he has not arrived yet
  • Je n'ai pas [z] encore fini : I'm not done yet

In these cases, the use of the liaison might sound a bit posher than without, but that quite depends on the tone too.

However, you should not pronounce the liaison when meaning "not again" :

  • Oh non, pas [ ] encore des choux de Bruxelles! : Oh no, not Brussels sprouts again!

Using the liaison in this case sounds plain weird :)


This is one of the cases where the liaison is optional. It is sounded in careful speech or poetry, and omitted in casual speech. Sounding it in a casual context sounds stilted, while omitting it in formal contexts sounds uncouth.

Broadly speaking, most liaisons between words that aren't part of a single group of words (such as article/adjective/noun) fall in this category.

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    In (casual) Canadian french, people usually pronounce the s from the liaison, so the words "flow".
    – Phil
    Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 16:40
  • I can confirm Phil's answer. I have not yet heard a Quebecer omit the liaison. Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 17:42
  • @Gilles do you think you could expand the last sentence of this answer? It seems like it's getting at something really informative but it's a bit too vague to make clear sense of. I would have thought "pas encore" was part of a single group of words, which is why I find what you said there hard to understand. Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 19:54

J'ai trouvé que l'emploi des liaisons dépend du registre de langue utilisé par l'interlocuteur. C'est-à-dire, s'il adopte une langue soutenue et recherchée ou plus familière. Autrement dit, l'emploi des liaisons particulières est souvent facultatif.

I've found that the use of liaisons depends on the register employed by the speaker. That's to say if they're using a sophisticated, "elevated" tone or a more familiar one. The consequence is that liaisons are often optional.

Page sur les liaisons.

  • Depends on which way? Is liaison more 'elevated;/formal or less?
    – Mitch
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 12:17

In most casual settings (in Belgium and France) «s» is not pronounced.


Actually, the rule would be to pronounce the liaison. Not pronouncing the liaison does not the change the meaning at all. It is just a stylistic variation and while popular and common, it goes against the rule. By the same token, the phrase "Je ne sais pas" is more commonly than not pronounced "shay pas" with the "ne" completely missing. Common on the streets and in the cafes of Paris, but unlikely ever uttered at the acadamie française.


Plus généralement, celà dépend du contexte et du niveau de langage employé: si l'on souhaite articuler clairement pour être sûr d'être compris, par exemple au téléphone et si toutes les liaisons sont prononcées on doit prononcer cette liaison. Au risque de paraître un peu pédant...tout dépend du ton de conversation et du contexte.

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