10

In the flashcard app I'm using the native audio pronounces it as "comment TALLEZ vous"...the "comment" runs into the "allez". Is that right? Is there a rule to it? Or can we pronounce it as just comment ALLEZ vous?

  • 2
    You are looking for liaison rules This is a quasi-duplicate of When to pronounce “s” at the end?. We have to write some sort of general liaison guide. (With links to unstomachable linguistic papers, tee-hee :p) – Evpok Jul 10 '13 at 14:36
  • 2
    Ha. Linguistic papers! – verve Jul 10 '13 at 15:02
6

In that specific case, the -t has to be pronounced, and it would be incorrect not to do so.

As for rules, you could refer to the Wikipedia article. You'll find other references in the different answers to this similar question : When to pronounce “s” at the end of words?

  • Sorry, any other references. Wikipedia has had mistakes in the past and I don't want to start learning wrong things. So, liasions are set in stone right? There are no exceptions? – verve Jul 10 '13 at 15:01
  • You'll find other sources in the linked question. But I doubt the Wikipedia article could be proven wrong on that particular topic... – Alexis Pigeon Jul 10 '13 at 15:04
  • I think it's for the vowel "a" that followed by "t". For example in the sentence of "C'est une belle fille.", the "t" in "est" will be pronounced and and stick to the next word. – Mohsen Gh. Aug 3 '13 at 8:11
4

This is not that simple.

Answers based on the ease or unease of pronunciation are often irrelevant. For a French language learner, the difference in ease is usually not obvious, and for a native speaker there is a natural tendency to consider the unusual pronunciations to be the difficult ones and the usual pronunciations to be the easy and natural ones.

In the set phrase

Comment allez-vous ?

the liaison is mandatory but in all other sentences with comment, for example that other one

Comment allez-vous venir ?

that very same liaison is forbidden.


Sources:

Rem. 1. P. Delattre, Studies in French and Comparative Phonetics, 1966 et P. Encrevé, La Liaison avec et sans enchaînement, 1988: liaison des adv. interr. avec le mot suivant proscrite, sauf le groupe figé comment allez-vous. Dans comment avez-vous fait, non liaison de comment avec le mot suivant.

  1. Les liaisons interdites :

    Entre les interrogatifs « quand » et « comment » : quand/comment est-il rentré ?
    Sauf : Comment allez-vous ?

Liaison interdite

Après les adverbes interrogatifs Quand / arrive-t-il ? Comment / est-elle ?

Liaison obligatoire …
Après QUAND et COMMENT [t] :

quand + est-ce que : Quand est-ce qu'on arrive ?
quand + voy. : Quand il est là, je suis contente.
Cas unique : Bonjour, comment allez-vous ?

Liaison interdite

Après QUAND, COMMENT et COMBIEN :

quand + inversion : Quand est-il arrivé ? Comment est-il venu ? Comment il est venu ? Combien en voulez-vous ?

La liaison est interdite dans plusieurs cas : …
6. Après les adverbes interrogatifs :
Quand X arrive-t-on ? [kɑ̃ a ʁiv tɔ̃] ?
Comment X est-ce que tu t’appelles ? [ko mɑ̃ ɛs kə ty ta pɛl] ?
Combien X en veux-tu ? [kɔ̃ bjɛ̃ ɑ̃ vø ty] ?
mais (exceptions)
Comment‿allez-vous ? [ko mɑ̃ ta le vu] ?
Quand‿est-ce que… ? [kɑ ̃tɛ skə] ?

  1. Liaison interdite

Après les pronoms interrogatifs sujets ou adverbes interrogatifs :

Lesquels // ont accepté ?
Quand // est-il arrivé ?
Comment // accepter ?
Combien // en veux-tu ?

Mais on entend relativement fréquemment des gens faire la liaison après comment et quand (no­tam­ment dans l’audiovisuel). Dans certaines formules interrogatives figées, on fait cependant toujours la liai­son :

Comment allez-vous ? [komɑ̃talevu] Quand est-ce que... [kɑ̃tɛskə]

En revanche, on ne fait pas la liaison dans le groupe comment est-ce que :

Comment est-ce qu’il a appris ça ? [komɑ̃ɛskilaapʁisa].

  • @jiliagre From where do you hold that it is forbidden ? It is totally right to pronounce the t here. – Emmanuel BRUNO Oct 8 '17 at 17:11
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    @EmmanuelBRUNO I'm holding that from personal experience and it is confirmed by each and every source about liaisons addressing the comment case. I have just updated my answer with some of them. I'm aware that some people do that liaison anyway and my last reference mention it but it would be quite exaggerated to state it is "totally right". It is still a forbidden liaison nevertheless done, something like les-z-haricots. – jlliagre Oct 8 '17 at 20:35
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    @jiliagre Ok then, thanks for the references, I was wrong, I'll try to never do it again (the liaison, not to be wrong) :) – Emmanuel BRUNO Oct 9 '17 at 8:30
-1

Yes, you need to pronounce it. Perhaps a way of checking is trying to pronounce it without the -t, which is noticeably harder (sounds more like a glottal stop).

-2

When two vowel sound occur successively one use to add a consonant, a sort of binding, between them to make it more fluently. This is called liaison. In this case the t from comment becomes pronounced.

  • This is the description for epenthesis, a completely different phenomenon. – GAM PUB Nov 22 '16 at 9:48

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