Why there is not liaison when we pronounce Des harricots? Should't it be pronounced as /dezaricot/ ?

Elena A1Kwiziq community member

Why there is not liaison when we pronounce Des harricots? Should't it be pronounced as /dezaricot/ ?

Asked 6 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Elena,
In French, there are two forms of the letter «h»:
1) le «h muet»
2) le «h aspiré»
With the «h muet» there is liaison
With the «h aspiré» there is NO liaison
I know that this is covered on this site but I am having difficulty locating it; so here is a link to a lesson that Laura has written on another site:
This gives a great definition and explanation between the two «h» forms.
If you are so inclined and need a video here is a link from a competitors site:
At times, I find it very helpful to search outside of Kwiziq for explanations when I become stuck on a topic. This gives me another point of view on the topic. However, having said that, I DO always come back to this site because I find it quite superior in the manner the material is presented and quite frankly, I love the quizzes.
J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet
GruffKwiziq team member
Hi Elena - Ron is correct.

French words starting with 'h' fall into two categories. One where the 'h' considered mute or silent, and the other where it's considered 'aspirated' and therefore liaison doesn't occur because it's in the way of the vowel. Confusingly, in fact, the h isn't really aspirated in the spoken form at all - it's just the liaison that doesn't happen. This probably for historic reasons as most of the 'h aspiré' words were adopted from other languages (handicap, hippie, hockey for example) where the h was truly aspirated (i.e. can be heard).

Haricot is a little trickier as you will sometimes hear people liaise it, but it's considered incorrect. There was even a rumour circulating - started by a newspaper - that the academie française was going to change the rules to allow it, but they have debunked this.

You can read more here:

Note also that for h aspiré words, it's not just liaison but élision that's 'interdit'. We must write "le haricot" and not "l'haricot".

More about French elision: https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/glossary/contraction/l-elision-elision">https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/glossary/contraction/l-elision-elision">https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/glossary/contraction/l-elision-elision">https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/glossary/contraction/l-elision-elision

I see we are missing a page on liaison and we can add some info about h aspiré / muet too.

Hope this helps!
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Salut Gruff, I appreciate your reply because I was unaware of the historical reasons for the difference that you cite here. Merci et bonne journée
AdamA0Kwiziq community member

My wife tells me that while she always says des haricots as you are explaining here, almost everyone younger now says dezharicots, and they believe it to be the norm. She finds it unnatural and hates it, but believes that it is now the rule as well - even if you're saying it is still wrong.

Why there is not liaison when we pronounce Des harricots? Should't it be pronounced as /dezaricot/ ?

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