circonflexe

PeterC1Kwiziq community member

circonflexe

Why - château but - chapeau I don't understand the use of the circonflexe when to me the pronunciation appears similar
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Thank you, Chris for a very  detailed answer to Peter's question.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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).
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Here is a nice article about the circonflexe: http://www.200words-a-day.com/circumflex-in-french.html -- Chris.

circonflexe

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

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