I think that for reasons of sound, the inversion of je, as in aimé-je? prends-je?, etc. is fairly rare and the est-ce que construction is being preferred in speech and writing alike.

But I also think that ai-je, dis-je, fais-je, suis-je, vais-je, vois-je, veux-je, puis-je are more frequently encountered.

  1. What is the correct way of pronouncing je in the above structures?
  2. When can we employ correctly the structures dis-je ? puis-je ?, etc. ?
  3. I saw somewhere that after the orthography reform of 1990 the form “aimè-je” is also accepted. Is that correct? If so, why? Is the pronunciation still the same?

1 Answer 1

  1. Je is pronounced at the end of the syllable containing it. The ending e of je is generally silent but not in verses like N'ai-je donc tant vécu que pour cette infamie.

  2. Essentially in written French. Sometimes also in formal spoken French, puis-je vous emprunter votre stylo ?

    Note that veux-je is quite rare and hurting many French ears. Some authors even use the barbarism voulé-je instead to avoid it...

  3. Yes, the pronunciation is the same [ɛ]. The accent has precisely been changed to match it.


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