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Never Pronounce This In French: ENT On Verb Ending

One of the most common mistakes people make when learning to speak French is pronouncing the “ent” on the end of the third-person plural verb, or the “they” form.

Here’s what I mean. Take the verb “nager” for example. Conjugation in the present tense:

je nage I swim
tu nages you swim
il/elle nage he/she swims
nous nageons we swim
vous nagez you swim
ils/elles nagent they swim

Skip the -end on verbs!

The common mistake here is the temptation to want to pronounce the ils/elles form “ils nage-unt” as if you’re supposed to say that “ent” sound. Don’t say it at all! In fact, ignore it. It’s totally silent.

So, you pronounce “ils nagent” the EXACT same way you pronounce the je, tu and il/elle forms: “nage”.

I hope this has helped. When reading French every time you come to an “ENT” on the end of a verb in the ils/elles form just IGNORE IT.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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