circonflexe

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peter

Kwiziq community member

29 November 2017

3 replies

circonflexe

Why - château but - chapeau I don't understand the use of the circonflexe when to me the pronunciation appears similar

Chris

Kwiziq community member

29 November 2017

29/11/17

The circonflexe doesn't reflect reliable in pronounciation. You just have to buckle down and learn by heart how to spell words with circonflex. There actually is some ongoing discussion about reforming French spelling rules and do away with the circonflex. But until this materializes you better learn its use. There is some link to the root of a specific word which explaines some uses of the circonflexe. Often it is placed on a vowel preceding a "lost s". hôtel -- originally derived from "hoStel" île -- originally derived from "iSle" forêt -- originally derived from "foreSt" In some words it distinguishes them from another word of the same spelling: sûr - sur (sure - on) But there are others where I don't see that pattern (such as, e.g., âge) which carry a circon flexe without any apparent reason at all. Greetings, -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Chris

Kwiziq community member

29 November 2017

29/11/17

Here is a nice article about the circonflexe: http://www.200words-a-day.com/circumflex-in-french.html -- Chris.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

15 March 2018

15/03/18

Thank you, Chris for a very  detailed answer to Peter's question.

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