French DJS: conflicting rules re. ‘right’ and ‘left’ S’s


I want to write J’espère in French DJS and I don’t know how to write my S because my textbook says:

-after J’s and CH’s : ‘right’ S (i.e. the one oriented like a comma)

-before P and B : left S

And I don’t recall encountering this word (yet) in the training material within the textbook. Does anyone know which of the two rules takes precedence?



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4 comments Add yours
  1. Hello, Aymeric!

    Could you give an example of a word that gives you a problem? I must admit that when I want to write a word I’ve never encounter before, I look for a word that is the closest as possible and I made modifications.i%
    Don’t forget that rules are different when the “s” is at the beginning or the end or not.

  2. The answer is in your French DJS textbook, page 88, paragraph 93, sixth line, fifth outline.

    In general, the selection of the correct s depends on (1) its position in the word (beginning, middle, or end), (2) the previous and following consonants, and (3) in some cases whether the outline is a phrase or not. In the case above, the s belongs to espère, so the rule about using left s before p and b applies. (It would be very awkward and illegible to use the left s in this case.)

  3. Carlos !?! How did you do that?! 😮 can you do the same for any word I give you? Teach me please.

    Also, in this specific outline, how come the è is written? I thought "per" and "pour" were shortened to p-r ?


    1. Oh, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. 🙂

      Seriously, I just found the outline by skimming the book. J'espère is a very common phrase so I knew it had to be somewhere in the book. Unfortunately, I don't have an index of outlines for that book, so I cannot come up with any word or phrase at will.

      Espérer is written e-left s-p-e-r-e. The second e is written because the r is followed by a vowel (the syllable is pe- not per-). Also, the e is always written (1) when the r is followed by d (as in perdre), (2) in the word perte (but not in any other word with per-t), (3) in the word père (for legibility), and (4) in the word peruche (p-e-r-ch), in which we insert the e even though the oo-hook is not written (this also makes it distinct from perche, which is written without the e).

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