Elision (French)

In French, elision refers to the suppression of a final unstressed vowel (usually [ə]) immediately before another word beginning with a vowel. The term also refers to the orthographic convention by which the deletion of a vowel is reflected in writing, and indicated with an apostrophe.

Written French

In written French, elision (both phonetic and orthographic) is obligatory for the following words:

Elision is indicated in the spelling of some compound words, such as presqu'île "peninsula", aujourd'hui "today", and quelqu'un "someone".

At the beginnings of words, the aspirated h denies elision. Example: Le Havre. The mute h, however, requires elision. Example: l'homme. Both types of 'aitch' are silent regardless.

Informal French

Elision of the second-person singular subject pronoun tu, before the verbs avoir "to have" and être "to be", and of the particle of negation ne, is very common in informal speech, but is avoided in careful speech and never used in formal writing:

See also


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