Updated: Sep 18, 2018
LA LIAISON FACULTATIF
Welcome to another episode of Learn French with Prof. Josh. and the concluding part of the French liaison.
I believe you've been trying to master the previous types of liaison that have been treated already?
Today, we are considering the third type of the french liaison which is known as La liaison facultative - Optional Liaison.
If you've already mastered the obligatory and forbidden liaisons that have been treated in the previous lessons, then you don't have much problem with the optional liaison because you can decide to or not to make liaison in this case.
Optional liaisons are those which are pronounced in higher registers (levels of formality) and not in lower registers. Some liaisons in front of a vowel or mute h are optional, so it's up to you to decide whether to pronounce them or not.
However, that decision matters: more liaisons mean more formal speech, and fewer liaisons obviously mean more informal, possibly even familiar speech.
Here are types of liaisons, from the most common to the least common: even teenagers will usually pronounce the first type of liaison (formal), but very few people will pronounce the last type (informal).
The point here is that whether you make the liaison or not, it doesn't change anything much except that the former makes your speech more formal and the latter makes it less formal.
N.B: The optional liaison (liaison facultative) occurs between the group of words where "_" is placed and the 2 possible pronunciations are in bracket.
Kindly note that the possible pronunciations in bracket are not in anyway related to transcription.
1. AFTER PLURAL NOUNS
Les hommes_arrivent - The men are coming.
(Layzom zareev or layzom areev)
Des livres_utiles - useful text books
(dayleevr zewteel or dayleevr ewteel)