Tonguetwister Tuesday! (Oui, déjà! wee, day-ZHAH! yes, already!)
Je veux et j’exige d’exquises excuses.
zhuh VUH ay zhegg-ZEEZH deck-SKEE zeck-SKEWZ. Click below to hear this pronounced!
I want and I demand exquisite excuses.
And not just any old excuses! Craft them carefully. Make them a work of art!
This tonguetwister highlights the two way to pronounce the letter x in French. There are three of them that count in this expression! (The fourth, at the end of veux, is silent, so it doesn’t count here.) If you have vowel + x + vowel, as in exige, you pronounce the x as /gz/. Exemple, exotique, exil, exister, and exhorter all follow the same rule (in exhorter, the h counts as a silent vowel). So: egg-ZAH-pluh, egg-zo-TEEK, and so on. Enough eggs for a very large omelet!
If you have vowel + x + consonant, on the other hand, you pronounce the x as /k/. So in exquises excuses, both words begin with the /eck/ sound. Exciter, expérience, expliquer, exprès, and extérieur all follow this rule: eck-see-TAY, eck-spay-reeAHSS, and so on.
As for j’exige, note that it means demand or require. Je demande means I am asking, a much less forceful statement, of course.
All right then…Have at it!