Combien sont ces six saucissons-ci?

It’s Tonguetwister Tuesday again! This one is a classic. Every French-speaking kid knows this one, it seems.

Combien sont ces six saucissons-ci? Ce sont soixante-six sous, ces six saucissons-ci. Merci!

kaw-beeYAA saw say see so-see-saw-SEE? suh saw swah-saht-SEE SOO, say see so-see-saw-see. MARE-SEE!  Click below to hear the audio file!  Click below to hear the audio file!  

How much are these six sausages? These are sixty-six sous, these six sausages. Thank you!

Most transactions in the butcher shop (la charcuterie, lah shaar-kew-TREE) aren’t quite this complicated. Easier to pronounce, anyway. But it’s actually quite a standard question-and-answer.

Are you wondering about that little -ci hanging off the end of the saucissons? That goes with ces. It’s like the other half of the word. Ce (masculine singular, pronounced suh), cette (feminine singular, pronounced set), and ces (masculine AND feminine singular, pronounced say) can mean either this/these or that/those. So how do you know which it is?

Most of the time, it doesn’t really matter. But if it’s important to distinguish, tack -ci onto the end of the noun to indicate this/these, or -là to indicate that/those. These little suffixes are directly related to the words ici, here, and là, there.

Get going, now! How fast can you say this and still pronounce it accurately? Especially, watch out for the t in soixante-six. It’s so easy to lose.

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