Some of the “e”s in those words are going to drop in spoken French. But how to know which ones? You'll learn the secret in Lesson 4 of my video course, Mastering French Pronunciation. Here are what we explore in each of the 8 Lessons:
Lesson 1: Introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) These symbols are the best way to describe a sound and all the course exercises are written in phonetic symbols, so this lesson gets everyone on the same page.
Lesson 2:The Anglo-American vs. the French mouth positions—detailed explanation of how English and French have opposite mouth positions to make their sounds and teaches how to imitate what the French do to sound French
Open Syllabication—the French habit of ending each syllable in a vowel which is also key to developing an authentic accent. These 2 topics are the heart and soul of the course.
Lesson 3: French vowels. A detailed description of each French vowel sound and specifically how and where they are made in the mouth. Since French emphasizes vowels over consonants, this lesson is foundational.
Lesson 4: Vowels continued: the mute e—one of the most interesting and challenging French sounds, teaching when it is pronounced and when it falls; and a study of the French vowels that are sometimes pronounced more open and sometimes more closed and how to make the distinction in contemporary French.
Lesson 5: A detailed description of each French consonant sound and specifically how and where they are made in the mouth; special attention to the challenging French “r”.
Lesson 6: Consonants continued: how to eliminate the breathiness that English speakers bring to certain French consonants; a detailed description of the “semi-vowels” (which could also be called “semi-consonants”) with special attention to the /j/ which English speakers often find difficult in certain contexts. (example: fauteuil)
Lesson 7: How to avoid the English habit of nasalizing all vowels and learning that the French do just the opposite. Visuals of the French and English mouth to explain the process. This is a feature that most speakers of French are totally unaware of, but it really affects the quality of your accent.
Lesson 8: A look at how the accentuation of English affects the rhythm of our sentences, and how to avoid carrying over these habits when we speak French.