Forum Rocket French French Vocab How to pronounce the word "une"

How to pronounce the word "une"


Just when I thought I knew how to pronounce the word "une" along comes a lesson in which the word is pronounced two ways.

The Lesson 5, Clothing Survival Kit has a series of sentences with the pattern, "Je porte"  followed the article un or une and an article of clothing.  In some of the sentences the word "une" has only the U and  N pnonunced, while in otheres the U, N, and E are all pronounced.

Which pronounciation is correct, or both correct?

toru e

I'd say both are correct. It depends on the euphony between the article and noun. Sometimes, the 'e' would be more pronounced, other times, it's more elided.


Bonjour tous les deux!

Yes, Torusan you are correct. Although in French there are standard pronunciation rules, these rules are also subject to a certain level of flexibility and the sole purpose of this is to ensure the language sounds and flows better. Unfortunately, I fear this doesn't give you a clear-cut answer to your question but that is one of the difficulties with French: for every rule, there are a thousand exeptions.

In any case, don't give up and keep up the good work!

   -   Marie-Claire


Thank you.  Maybe that's why I haven't been able to figure out how to pronounce "une."  I've been hearing  the two all along, but it wasn't until they were side-by-side that I noted the difference.


Wow, you have a good ear. I hardly notice that at all but I have heard people really accentuate it like everybody above mentions.

I can hear the final e sounded on only these two phrases.

Je porte une cravate
I wear a tie

Je porte une chemise
I wear a shirt

*Would be really nice if we could easily link to individual phrases. Maybe in the Rocket Record, they can add a copy link button? Seems we should be able to actually place the rocket record "device" into a forum post.

As for rules, Marie Claire is correct. In French in Action, they explain (quite at length) the rules for un and une. Un has two pronunciations. In short, un ami and un jeune homme are pronounced different due to liaison. Une has only one pronunciation - the e sound with lips rounded and the n. Using the Phrase Finder is a great way to test this out. I like French in Action because it takes the idea that they are the professor and you are the student and you should follow their guidance, which they give very clearly. The other school of thought is that we should look at what everybody is doing (even if it doesn't follow the prescribed rules) and copy. Well, that's sort of like doing a Google search for two phrases and taking the one that is most common. It may be quite incorrect. It becomes even more important for computer languages, which are more my forté, but I like learning these human languages also. Good luck to you all!


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