French can be a tricky language sometimes. For one thing, the consonants at the end of words are almost always dropped when the word is spoken aloud, except for a few very important exceptions. When it comes to pronunciation, French teachers are constantly reminding their students to "be careful!"

That's because the English word "CaReFuL" is also a mnemonic device drilled into the heads of first-year students of the language, to remember the 4 letters that most commonly are pronounced at the end of French words. Namely: C, R, F and L.

   For example:

     C                  R                 F                L
 parc (park)       hivir (summer)    actif (active)   il      (he)
 avec (with)       four  (oven)      ouef  (egg)      bol     (ball)
 sac  (sack)       pour  (for)       chef  (chef)     avril   (april)
 chic (stylish)    soir  (night)     neuf  (nine)     journal (diary)
 truc (thing)      jour  (day)       vif   (alive)    mal     (bad)

Of course, with any language there are always exceptions to every rule.

For instance, C's are often not pronounced when following a nasal vowel, such as tabac (tobacco), porc (pig) and banc (bank).

The R is almost always silent in words that end in -er, like manger (to eat), boulanger (baker) and abonner (to subscribe). It is also not pronounced in nouns ending with -ier, like cahier (workbook) and Premier (Prime Minister).

The rules for F are especially inconsistent. It's pronounced in chef (chef), for instance, but not in clef (key), and in neuf (nine) but not in nerf (nerve).

As for L, it's most-often unpronounced in words that end in -il, such as gentil (nice) and outil (tool), and especially in words that end in -eil, like oeil (eye), soleil (sunshine) and appareil (machine).

Care"ful (?), a. [AS. cearful.]

1.

Full of care; anxious; solicitous

[Archaic]

Be careful [Rev. Ver. "anxious"] for nothing. Phil. iv. 6.

The careful plowman doubting stands. Milton.

2.

Filling with care or colicitube; exposing to concern, anxiety, or trouble; painful.

The careful cold beinneth for to creep. Spenser.

By Him that raised me to this careful height. Shak.

3.

Taking care; gicing good heed; watchful; cautious; provident; not indifferent heedless, or reckless; -- often follower byof, for, or the infinitive; as, careful of money; careful to do right.

Thou hast been careful for us with all this care. 2. Kings iv, 13.

What could a careful father more have done? Dryden.

Syn. -- Anxious; solicitous; provident; thoughtful; cautious; circumspect; heedful; watchful; vigilant.

 

© Webster 1913.

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