The word "pendant" means "under", e.g "I have study french under 6 years".

But when I hear my teacher pronunce it, he will skip the "d". So it will become "pen-an".

"Pendant une six semaine..." "Pendant six ans..."

Is that correct ? It's parisian french accent by the way.

  • 3
    The word means "during", not under. The d is most definitely there and is pronounced like the d in the word dent, tooth.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 18:37
  • But my teacher don't say the "d". It's a CD book by the way.
    – euraad
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 18:40
  • @lambie i have changed the question
    – euraad
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 18:48
  • @DanielMårtensson Lambie is definitely right. Nor saying the D is just impossible. For a reason you will have to determine (probably linked to the sounds you are used to in your native language) you don't/can't hear it. Listen to the word on Shtooka. As you can see (mouse over) on Shtooka the man talking is from Paris.
    – None
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 18:49
  • [my teacher doesn't say]
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 18:50

2 Answers 2


/d/ in pendant is articulated after and before the nasalized vowel /ɑ̃/, it's entirely possible in an allegro or allegrissimo speech tempo for the soft palate to stay lowered throughout and for /d/ to become thus nasalized as well, in which case, it would be realized as [n], so that we end up having [pɑ̃nɑ̃] instead of [pɑ̃dɑ̃].

It's probably one of those things that happen in connected speech when people speak fast, so I wouldn't say it's not correct but it might be considered as slurred speech by some.

  • Moreover, even if the teacher did pronounce /d/, the student would be likely to perceive /n/ because of the mental block so many learners seem to have when it comes to nasal vowels :)
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 20:21
  • I'm a native speaker, and I speak a parisian french. If I speak fast enough, "Pendant six semaines" can become "Pan ssmèn" with an emphasis on the "ss" part. I will never speak like that for a pedagogic purpose though Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 12:25

I add this answer because the former ones seem to me a little confuse. The answer to your question is quite simple: Absolutely no French speaker will ever skip the "d" of "pendant". You will never hear "pen-an" from a French mouth as your heard it from your teacher.

I will add that your example "pendant une six semaines" is not correct French. You can just say "pendant six semaines" or "pendant une période de six semaines".

  • 2
    Sorry, but this is absolutely not true. Grandtout is perfectly correct in stating that the /d/ can easily get assimilated into the surrounding nasals in rapid speech, resulting in [pɑ̃nɑ̃]. What I think you mean is that no French speaker will pronounce pendant as though it were spelt penant, which would be [pənɑ̃]. That is completely true, but that is not skipping the /d/ sound – it’s skipping a letter from the written form and then pronouncing a completely different word; like skipping the r in <Paris> /pari/ and ending up with <pais> /pɛ/ instead of <Païs> /pa.i/. Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 14:33
  • I was not supposing [pənɑ̃] but [pɑ̃nɑ̃], just skipping the "d". I never heard any one say [pɑ̃nɑ̃] instead of [pɑ̃dɑ̃], even speaking quickly. I suppose you're not French, dear Janus?
    – BBBreiz
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 18:30
  • I am not, no, but I have absolutely heard [pɑ̃nɑ̃] and many similar reductions/assimilations from many native speakers. Even just [pɑ̃.ɑ̃ ~ pɑ̃ː] is commonplace enough in my experience. Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 18:35
  • Have you seen the film "Snatch", starring Brad Pitt as Mickey O'Neil, a gipsy hardly no one can understand, because he skips so many phonemes that you have to be initiated to understand him? I'don't think we have to consider this is proper English...
    – BBBreiz
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 20:34
  • I haven’t, no. I am talking here about perfectly average, regular native French speakers like Loïc above, having normal, everyday conversations. Naturally, you wouldn’t expect a newsreader to exhibit such reductions, but regular people? Absolutely. Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 20:38

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