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In le Christ both s and t are pronounced, but in Jesus-Christ both are silent.


t usually sounds as in tutor. It has the hissing sound of s in the combinations -tion, -tial, -tiel, -tieux, and in a few words ending in -tie, which in English end in -cy. As situation, situation ; partialité, partiality; essentiel, essential; factieux, factious; démocratie, democracy. Also in balbutier, initier, patience, ineptie, minutie, and in proper names ending in -tien; as Vénitien, a Venetian.

In the past tenses of verbs, or when preceded by s, t retains its hard sound. As nous partions, question.

th always has the sound of t. As théâtre, theatre.

t final is silent, except in brut, chut, dot, déficit, est (east), fat, granit, lest, mat, net, ouest and most words ending in -ct. In sept and huit, the t is mute only before a noun or adjective beginning with a consonant; as dans huit jours. In vingt, t always mute except in the numbers 21 to 29 inclusive.

x usually has the sound of ks. As boxer, to box. initial and followed by a vowel or h mute has the sound As exil, exile ; examen,

examination. It has the sound of ss in Bruxelles, soixante, six, and dix; but the x of six and dix is silent before a consonant, and sounds like z before a vowel or h mute. It has the sound of z in deuxième, sixième, dixième, dix-sept, dix-huit, dix-neuf.


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The Union of Words.


The last consonant of a word, standing before a word beginning with a vowel or h mute and closely connected with it in sense, is often carried over to it in pronunciation.

In such cases s and x have the sound of z, d that of t, and c and g that of k. As mes amis, ils ont, aux armes, grand homme, avec elle,

rang élevé.

This union of words, called liaison, is necessary in public speaking or reading; in conversation it is used only when the words thus joined cannot do without each other.

Division of Syllables.

In the body of a word each syllable must if possible begin with a consonant; as mo-ra-li-té, a

ma-bi-li-té. If there are two consonants the division usually takes place between the two; as hom-me, vil-le, par-tir, enten-du. But if the second is 1 or r (and the first is neither 1 nor r), or if the two are gn, the division takes place before the two; as é-glise, no-tre, vi-gne.

As h is never heard in pronunciation, the consonant which precedes it is always carried, in speaking, to the following vowel; as i-nhu-main, i-nha-bi-té.

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The compound consonant x (=ks or gz) always goes with the preceding vowel; as ex-il.


Capital Letters. In French no capital letter is used, except at the beginning of a sentence, for the names of the months and of the days of the week; as avril, lundi : — for any word used as an adjective; as un officier français : —

- for

any word used to signify rank or position; as empereur, roi, duc, général, cardinal, docteur, abbé, maire, etc.

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There are only two genders in French, the masculine and the feminine.

Before a noun masculine use un for a or an, use le for the.

Before a noun feminine use une for a or an, and la for the.

Before a vowel or h mute use l' instead of le or la.

père, father.
fils, son.

eau (f.), water. mère, mother. fille, daughter.

et, and. crayon (m.), pencil. grammaire (f.), grammar. oncle, uncle. homme, man.

ardoise (f.), slate.

1. Un père, une mère. 2. Une mère et un fils. 3. Un fils et une fille. 4. Le crayon et la grammaire. 5. Le fils et la fille. 6. Le père et la mère. 7. Le père et le fils. 8. Une grammaire et un crayon. 9. L'oncle, l'homme, l'ardoise, l'eau. 10. Le crayon et l'ardoise. 11. L'oncle et la fille. 12. L'homme, le fils et la fille.

1. A mother, a daughter. 2. A father and a son. 3. A son and a mother. 4. A mother and a father. 5. The

1 Practice, and a general Rule to be found in the Appendix, will teach the gender of inanimate objects. In the meantime pupils are recommended, when learning a French noun, carefully to acquire with it the article denoting the gender.

grammar and the pencil. 6. A pencil and a grammar. 7. The daughter and the mother. 8. The son and the father. 9. The water and the slate. 10. The man and the uncle. 11. The uncle and the son. 12. The slate and the grammar.


An adjective always agrees in gender with the noun which it qualifies. To form the feminine of adjectives, add e mute to the masculine.

Adjectives ending with e mute in the masculine do not change in the feminine.

petit (m.), petite (f.), little, small, short.
grand (m.), grande (f.), large, tull, great.
bon (m.), bonne (f.), good.

mauvais (m.), mauvaise (f.), bad.
riche, rich.

est, is. pauvre, poor. aimable, amiable. 1. Le crayon est bon, l'ardoise est mauvaise. 2. Le père est grand, la fille est petite. 3. Un bon père, une mauvaise mère. 4. Un petit crayon, une grande ardoise. 5. Le père est bon, la fille est bonne. 6. Un bon fils et une bonne fille. 7. Le mauvais fils et la mauvaise fille. 8. Le bon père et la bonne mère. 9. La mère est riche, le père est pauvre. 10. La grammaire est facile. 11. La fille est très 2 aimable. 12. L'homme est riche.

facile, easy.

très, very.

1. The bad grammar, the bad slate, the bad pencil. 2. The water is bad. 3. A good son and a good daughter. 4. The slate is good, the pencil is bad. 5. A father

1 The doubling of n in this word is an exception which is to be explained in $ 54.

2 The last consonant of the words, est, très, bon, mon, ton, son, is always sounded upon the next word if it begins with a vowel, but the t of et is never sounded.

is good, a mother is good. 6. The mother is tall, the daughter is short. 7. A good grammar, a good pencil, a good slate. 8. The uncle is very rich, the father is very poor.

9. The son is amiable. 10. The man is rich. 11. The grammar is easy. 12. The son is bad, the daughter is very amiable.


The possessive adjective his, her, its, always agrees in French with the thing possessed, and not, as in English, with the possessor,

Whoever be the possessor, we put son before a masculine noun, and sa before a feminine. Therefore, before a masculine noun singular, use mon, ton, son; before a feminine noun singular, use ma, ta, sa.

son (m.), sa (f.), his, her, its.
mon (m.), ma (f.), my.

ton (m.), ta (f.), thy.
mais, but.

aussi, also. perdu, lost.

vu, seen.

plume (f.), pen.

a, has.

1. Mon oncle a vu son fils et sa fille. 2. Ma fille a perdu son crayon et sa grammaire. 3. Ta fille a aussi perdu son crayon. 4. Mon fils a perdu sa petite grammaire. 5. Son crayon est mauvais. 6. Sa petite ardoise est bonne. 7. Mon père est grand, mais ma mère est petite. 8. Ma mère est une bonne mère. 9. Ta fille est une bonne fille. 10. Ton père est un bon père. 11. Ton fils a une bonne grammaire. 12. Mon oncle a aussi une bonne grammaire. 13. Ton fils a un mauvais crayon et une mauvaise ardoise.

1. His mother is good. 2. Her son is good. 3. His daughter is tall, but his father is short. 4. Thy daugh

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