I know that liaison often happens with article + noun (les amis), adjective + noun (beaux amis), and personal pronoun + verb (ils ont).

But how about the situation of verb + preposition? e.g.

Kaboul est en Afghanistan.

Bangkok est en Thaïlande.

When speaking the sentences above, would there be a liaison between est and en?

  • 3
    Liaisons do not "often happen": they always happen (mandatory and always spoken) "with article + noun (les amis), adjective + noun (beaux amis), and personal pronoun + verb (ils ont)."
    – None
    Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 8:43

2 Answers 2


There are three sorts of liaisons in French: mandatory, forbidden and optional.1

The liaison after est is mandatory and always pronounced:

  • in the set phrase: c'est-à-dire /sɛtadiʁ/
  • when the verb is followed by a subject pronoun: Est-il arrivé ? /ɛtil/

Other liaisons after est are optional but they are more or less followed according to the nature of the word that follows est.

Very frequent:

  • when est is followed by a past participle:

    Il est arrivé /ilɛtaʁive/

  • when est is followed by an attribute:

    C'est une vieille histoire /sɛtyn/

Just frequent, often omitted in relaxed conversation, in most other cases, including in front of prepositions:

  • Paris est en France /ɛtɑ̃/ or /ɛɑ̃/
  • Il est à la maison /ɛta/ or /ɛa/

We note that the French language has been (and probably still is) operating a shift from mandatory to optional liaisons. For example the 10th edition of Le Bon Usage states that the liaisons between c'est and the following preposition, and between est and the following past participle are mandatory, but when we listen to people in France in the 21st century (I would not know about other French speaking countries and it might be different) there's a great tendency to drop it in casual speech.

1 - A guide to liaisons in French
- Quelques règles de liaisons


Both liaisons are optional in your examples.


As regards verbs, liaisons are mandatory in the following case:

Entre le pronom personnel (ainsi que "on", "en" et "y") et son verbe, ainsi que l'inverse : nous avons, elles aiment, on ouvre, ont-ils, prends-en, allons-y.

As well as in "c'est̲-̲à̲-dire".


  • Merci. Mais une question plus. Would you say it is more common or not to use a liaison in my examples?
    – ktm5124
    Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 20:58
  • 2
    It's slightly more common not to use it. You won't sound that formal by making these liaisons, and vice-versa. Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 21:04
  • Btw my above answer is as true in your instances as it is in general. Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 21:07
  • 1
    sole following case is inaccurate.
    – None
    Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 9:18
  • "c'est-à-dire" is indeed an exception to the rule. Is it what you were referring to? Commented Oct 1, 2017 at 19:28

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.