Decoding exercises: "é"

From Teflpedia

The letter "é" (e with an acute accent) is not an integral part of the English language, and words that have it are often spelled with "e".

In languages such as Spanish and Portuguese, "é" indicates the stressed syllable. In English this is different; "é" often indicates that the "e" is pronounced, as in Beyoncé /biːˈjɒnseɪ/. The spelling "Beyonce" suggests /ˈbiːjɒns/ or /bɪˈjɒns/.

French loan words[edit | edit source]

  • As /eɪ/: attaché /əˈtæʃeɪ,BrE ætəˈʃeɪAmE/; café /ˈkæfeɪ,BrE kæˈfeɪAmE/ ; déjà vu /deɪʒɑː ˈvuː/; entrée /ˈɒntreɪ/; fiancé, fiancée /fiːˈɒnseɪ/; resumé or résumé /ˈrezjumeɪBrE, ˈrezʊmeɪAmE/
  • As /eɪ/ or /ɪ/: elite or élite /eɪˈliːt, ɪˈliːt/
  • As /e/ résumé (also resumé)

An accent indicates that the "e" is not silent[edit | edit source]

  • As /eɪ/: Beyoncé /biːˈjɒnseɪ/; mate or maté /ˈmɑːteɪ, ˈmæteɪ/;
  • As /eɪ/ or /ɪ/: Pokémon /ˈpəʊkeɪmɒn, ˈpəʊkɪmɒn/; Poké Ball or Pokéball; Pokédex
  • As /eɪ/ or /iː/: Nestlé /ˈnesleɪ,BrE ˈnesliːAmE /[1]

Heteronyms[edit | edit source]

In some cases cases the acute accent prevents two words from becoming heteronyms. However, often "é" is replaced by "e".

  • expose /ɪkˈspəʊz/ vs. exposé /ekˈspəʊzeɪ,BrE ekspəʊˈzeɪAmE/
  • mate /meɪt/ vs. mate or maté /ˈmɑːteɪ, ˈmæteɪ/;
  • resume /rɪˈzjuːm/ vs. resumé or résumé /ˈrezjumeɪBrE, ˈrezʊmeɪAmE/

References[edit | edit source]

  1. WordReference Forums, English Only, Nestle [Nestlé] - pronunciation.

See also[edit | edit source]