Sorry this must be totally noob question, but I cannot find the answer anywhere. Are they prefixes or short form for something? What difference it makes to add or remove them? Like in the words m'importe and s'écroule.

I am adding the morphology tag, but I am not even sure it is about morphology or grammar.



Is from the pronominal verb s’écrouler, in fact we should say se écrouler, like in se faire, se donner.

But because écrouler starts with a vowel, the prononciation is pretty hard, that's why se is shortened to s'.


This is in fact a shorter version of importer à moi, which became me importer, and for the prononciation became m'importer

  • You will see the same phenomenon with “te” too e.g. je t’aime. Just a contraction! Also “ne” and “le/la.” Feb 5 '19 at 17:24
  • 1
    Also de and que now that I think of it. Also ce, as in c'est. All these have different grammatical situations but the principal is the same, that of contracting with a subsequent word that starts with a vowel. Feb 5 '19 at 18:31

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