Question

Enchainment with "ne"

Andras Chonn Andras Chonn (1) on 14/10/13

I am aware that "Je ne sais pas" is typically pronounced /ʒən sɛ pɑ/ where the "ne" is glided with the subject pronoun.

Is it safe to say that we can generalize this to ALL instances of "je ne"?

Can we say the same with "tu ne", "on ne", "nous ne", and "vous ne" (maybe even with "il ne" and "elle ne"?)?

I notice that 95% of the time when I hear "ne" pronounced, it comes from a non-native speaker or exaggerated pronounciations in those stupid French textbooks that don't make you aware of reality. I know that "ne" can be pronounced and often is in certain contexts such as songs, poetry, or highly formal occasions, but can it always be "glided"?

This has bothered me for a why, though I could easily solve the problem by just omitting "ne" altogether and sound even more French. =P

EDIT: My question hasn't been answered. I am NOT asking if you can omit "ne". That is basic knowledge that I've learned nearly a decade ago. I'm asking if you can combine the subject pronoun and "ne" into ONE SYLLABLE (so in effect, the "n" gets pronounced, but not the ever-disappearing "e").

Answers

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It's omitted in casual spoken French. When writing, you should use it, unless you're writing some casual dialog of course.

In some cases, it is awkward to omit it because it can lead to an ambiguity: "J’en veux plus" can mean "I want more" or its contrary.

Some French still say it, and pronounce the final 's' to mean more and don't pronounce the final 's' to mean "no more". Please, don't do that.

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My French mother loved using "ne" for emphasis. For example, she COULD say "tun prends jamais ton petit déjeuner" (made up example btw) but if she wanted to emphasize she would say, "TU. NE. PRENDS. JAMAIS. TON PETIT DÉJEUNER!"

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Andras Chonn Andras Chonn (1) on 18/10/13

Thanks for the response, but you didn't quite answer my question. My question was Can we say the same with "tu ne", "on ne", "nous ne", and "vous ne" (maybe even with "il ne" and "elle ne"?)? By "the same", I meant "can we pronounce those two word clusters with ONE SYLLABLE." You wrote "tun prends", so I'm assuming you could do this with "tu ne" (/tyn/), but can you pronounce "on ne" as /on/ (losing the nasal vowel maybe?), "nous ne" as /nun/ and "vous ne" as /vun/.
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It really depends. In more casual spoken French, it's pretty common to drop the "ne" with any subject. "Je crois pas" or "T'en veux pas?"

I would say it happens less with "vous." Quand on vouvoie quelqu'un, c'est déjà un peu plus soutenu donc c'est pas (<---) très poli de supprimer le "ne."

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