Why isn't "cet" used with singular feminin nouns that begin with a vowel or mute "h"?

Marilyn

Kwiziq community member

30 September 2017

3 replies

Why isn't "cet" used with singular feminin nouns that begin with a vowel or mute "h"?

This relates to:
Ce/cet/cette and ces = this/that and these/those (demonstrative adjectives) -

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

30 September 2017

30/09/17

Bonjour Marilyn, Good question! Cette is the feminine demonstrative adjective, no matter what the noun begins with. The adjective "cet" is used for reasons of euphony in front of masculine nouns that begin with a vowel or mute h, simply because it's too difficult to say the hiatus in, for example, "ce homme" or "ce étudiant." Ce becomes cet to make these phrases easier to pronounce: cet homme, cet étudiant. Feminine nouns don't have this problem: cette + vowel / mute h doesn't have that difficult-to-pronounce hiatus, so there's no reason to change the spelling to cet (which is pronounced identically): cette étudiante.

Marilyn

Kwiziq community member

30 September 2017

30/09/17

Thank you I understand

Harsha

Kwiziq community member

18 May 2018

18/05/18

Thank you I understand now

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