26

ca is not a word in French. It can only be used as an abbreviation: - of centiare - of circa and these two abbreviations are rarely used. Only ça exists as a word in French. What you might have encountered is "Ca", with a capital 'C'. When typing, some people omit the cedilla on capital 'C', but it is considered as a mistake. This post about accents on ...


22

With a QWERTY keyboard I would suggest the International Keyboard. You can type very efficiently all the accents (not only for the French language; I use it, for instance, to type German diacritics as well). It suffices to learn some shortcuts and voilà. Everything is thoroughly explained in the following link: http://sites.psu.edu/symbolcodes/windows/...


21

There are many accents in French, you can't decide to use them or not as it pleases you. It's always here for a reason, and if you don't use it when needed, either the word doesn't mean anything, or it means something else. Most of the time they change the pronunciation, too. For example, for many verbs, the past participle ends with é: to buy / I buy / ...


20

Diacritics are part of French orthography. To take one example, "dû" is the past participle of "devoir". If you remove the circumflex, it becomes "du", the contraction of "de" + "le". Different diacritics denote different things. The circumflex over an vowel often marks where an "s" used to follow the vowel. So modern French "êtes" is "estes" in old French. ...


16

L'orthographe traditionnelle est « sûrement », les rectifications orthographiques de 1990 (présentées de manière plus accessibles ici) recommandent « surement ». La rectification supprime les accents circonflexes sur « i » et « u » sauf pour les terminaisons verbales du passé simple, du subjonctif et dans cinq cas d'ambigüité (dû, mûr et sûr, jeûne(s) et ...


16

For reference, the usual diacritics are as follows. Accent aigu: é Pronunciation: Uniformly causes the vowel to be pronounced [e] (as in English "may"). There are some rare exceptions where it's pronounced [ɛ] (as in English "beg") instead, such as événement (recommended spelling changed to évènement in 1990) and in inversions like aimé-je. Usage: Most ...


14

Your question is very interesting, but quite complex too. First, it is interesting to notice that accents, in French, didn't exist until the end of the 16th century. The reason why they have been invented is probably partly to lighten the work of typographs, since printing has been invented towards the end of the 15th century, and partly to change the ...


14

It won't be correct French, but it is of course accepted in informal emails since the writer has a foreign keyboard. You are not expected to copy and paste letters. Some people add a P.S. explaining why they couldn't use accents when it's not obvious for the recipients (sometimes seen on internet forums), but you don't need to do it if the people you write ...


13

Le Dictionnaire historique de la langue française (sous la dir. d'A. Rey, ed. Le Robert) dit aussi que l'accent a simplement été ajouté pour le différencier de ou en 1539.


12

This is an accent called acute. é is therefore called "e acute". The prononciation is different from e and cannot be dropped in any case unless an alternative spelling exists (like clef and clé). The answer to your question on the presence of é is simply that this is how the word should be spelled.


11

Je crois qu'il y a là un flottement assez prolongé sur l'emploi ou non de l'accent grave sur cela/celà. Pour donner quelques exemples, J.B. Roche dans ses Entretiens sur l'orthographe françoise, et autres objets analogues, Nantes, 1777, écrit régulièrement celà (en ligne), tout comme E. Jacquemard dans ses Éléments de grammaire française à l'usage des ...


11

C can be pronounced [k] or [s]. C is pronounced [k] before a, o, u, or any consonant (except h). Call this the "hard" C. calembour cour cul croquer C is pronounced [s] before e, i, y. Call this the "soft" C. ceci cire cyan (These rules are all true in English, too.) The French cédille is used when the spelling gives you a hard C, but you actually ...


11

There is no straightforward rule for this so you'll have to learn to some extent. However, you can definitely get some hints in many cases provided you speak English (which has many common roots with French). As a reminder, circumflex accents are used: to replace a "lost" letter (fenêtre - fenestron); to modify pronounciation (pôle, arôme, infâme, ...


10

Les langues évoluent et les intonations changent, mais l'origine des accents aigu et grave remonte pratiquement à l'Antiquité. Les accents français ont été hérités principalement du grec ancien, mais également de l'apex latin dans le cas de l'accent aigu. Alors qu'en latin, l'apex servait simplement à marquer les voyelles longues, les accents du grec de l'...


10

I recommend using a Compose key. It's built-in in Mac OS and Linux(usually activated somewhere in Settings→Keyboard) and there's a very good open-source Compose key for Windows called WinCompose. How it works is that you press a key chosen by you as the Compose key(I like to use menu; between alt gr and ctrl) and then a sequence of characters to combine. ...


8

As a matter of fact, the letter "á" is not used in French. Diacritics only affect the quality of the vowel -- that is, the "place" in the mouth where the sound is formed -- not intonation, tone, stress or anything like that. (In certain dialects, diacritics may also indicate the duration of a vowel.) The letters with diacritics that ...


8

Les accents de guingois en travers des titres sont, je crois, simplement les accents habituels, qui sont obliques pour la plupart des gens, et de guingois pour ceux qui ne les aiment pas, le vocabulaire dépréciatif servant à la fois à décrire la chose et à en faire un problème, afin de pouvoir offrir sa propre solution. Les accents plats ayant un moindre ...


8

As you can see from the "disappearance of s" section in Circumflex in French, the ^ indicates (in this case) that the word hôpital used to have a "silent" S. It indeed comes from the word "hospitalia" in Latin, which gave "ospital" in old French. The "s" became silent in the 11th century and was replaced with ...


8

Je suis loin d'être spécialiste, mais je pense que les liens ci-dessous (questions sur FSE) peuvent donner des indications et constituent un bon point de départ (voir aussi les références mentionnées dans les réponses) : Regarding usage and history of special character/symbols/diacritics in French? What exactly do the French diacritics denote? And can they ...


8

The circumflex of "Saône" seems to have been intended to reflect the pronunciation (like that of Rhône) and isn't etymological. In Middle French, the spelling was in concurrence with Sonne and Saulne, the latter of which seems to be another attempt to reflect the pronunciation /'sɔ:.nə/ (modern /so:n/). Which leads us to the main issue with this question: ...


7

La commission nationale de toponymie admet les deux orthographes, « Vénézuéla » et « Venezuela ». Il s'agit d'un cas où le nom local et le nom francisé ne diffèrent que par les accents ce qui doit aider à maintenir le nom local en français malgré l'usage prédominant ailleurs d'utiliser des noms de pays francisés (bien que plus le pays est récent, moins cet ...


7

I am guessing it is not needed because the following e induces a [se] pronunciation naturally. Same for i: ci-devant is fine without cédille. This is not the case with a, o, u, which result in a [ka, ko, ku] pronunciation, so you need a cédille to soften them to an s sound.


7

Le tréma sur le E assure que le groupe UE n’est pas un digramme, c’est-à-dire que les deux voyelles sont à considérer comme deux entités non-liées. On doit donc prononcer le U, qui est suivi d’un E ici muet, qu’on ne prononce donc pas. En l’absence du tréma, les trois dernières lettres (GUE) formeraient le son /ɡə/, le U n’étant ajouté avant le E que pour ...


7

Yes silph, there is a rule: when the "e" is followed by a pair of consonants, you say "é" like in "dessin, pression" or "è" like in "belle, bretelle, parisienne, guerre"... Well, because it's french :P and there are lot of exceptions about etymology and word evolution through ages.


7

Les règles a, b, c citées représentent des contraintes sur l'accent aigu. Cela ne veut pas dire qu'il faut mettre un accent aigu sur tout autre « e », mais sur tout autre « e » qui se prononce [e] (comme dans « marché »). C'est-à-dire que si tu entends [e], tu écris « é », et vice versa, sauf si cet « e » se trouve dans l'un de ces contextes où l'...


6

For the IHÉS, I have heard both, and often seen it written IHES, since getting the accented capitals is tricky on many computers. But since according to the Académie, the capitals should always be accented (see Accentuation des majuscules) it may be considered wrong (or non-standard if you are descriptivist). Anyway, the only thing you should worry about is ...


6

When people do not have French keyboards available, they sometimes write ça as ca. This is becoming much less common as more and more systems are adapted to work with the French alphabet. The standard spelling is ça. As a learner you should always use ça unless you really have no way to type it.


6

You can't ignore them since they change the pronunciation (most of the time) and the meaning. They are like real letters. Some words just have letters with an accent so you have to learn and write them like that: du = some; dû = due (pronunciation doesn't change) a = has; à = to/in/at/etc. depending on the context (pronunciation doesn't change) mais = but; ...


6

La règle d'écriture est simple: On ne met jamais d'accent sur le e de la terminaison -er, que le r final se prononce ou pas car dans ce dernier cas, l'accent ferait double emploi avec le r qui modifie la prononciation du e : mer épicier Tous les mots français qui se terminent par -ere s'écrivent et se prononcent -ère. mère épicière Il n'y a en revanche ...


5

Pour ce qui est de "près" et de "très", on utilise la prononciation usuelle du "è". Pour ce qui est d'autres termes, c'est l'usage, donc une règle bête et méchante. En revanche, certains régionalismes ont tendance à changer certaines prononciations (les "é" deviennent "è" ou inversement", un "o" fermé devient un "o" ouvert...) et il n'y a pour cela aucune ...


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