Why isn't "cet" used with singular feminin nouns that begin with a vowel or mute "h"?

MarilynA2Kwiziq community member

Why isn't "cet" used with singular feminin nouns that begin with a vowel or mute "h"?

Asked 2 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Marilyn, Good question! Cette is the feminine demonstrative adjective, no matter what the noun begins with. The adjective "cet" is used for reasons of euphony in front of masculine nouns that begin with a vowel or mute h, simply because it's too difficult to say the hiatus in, for example, "ce homme" or "ce étudiant." Ce becomes cet to make these phrases easier to pronounce: cet homme, cet étudiant. Feminine nouns don't have this problem: cette + vowel / mute h doesn't have that difficult-to-pronounce hiatus, so there's no reason to change the spelling to cet (which is pronounced identically): cette étudiante.
MarilynA2Kwiziq community member
Thank you I understand
HarshaB1Kwiziq community member
Thank you I understand now

Why isn't "cet" used with singular feminin nouns that begin with a vowel or mute "h"?

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level >>
Getting that for you now.