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Don't say "'erbs," do say "herbs"

Don't say that: 


Do say this: 



The French say "'erbs" but only because, by convention and rules of grammar, each noun takes a gender-specific article (definite i.e. the or indefinate i.e. a or an) or, in the case of plurals, a non-gender specific article.

Therefore "the" is "le" for masculine and "la" for feminine" and "a" or "an" is "un" for masculine and "une" for feminine.

For plural, the word is "les."

Where the noun starts with a consonant, the masculine and plural are pronounced without a hard end e.g. "ley voitures" but where the noun starts with a vowel the masculine and plural are pronounced with a hard end e.g. "lez oranges." and the words are run together e.g. "lez_oranges."

"h" is a special case: for this purpose, it's treated as a vowel, even though it is a consonant and it becomes invisible during pronunciation.

When written, it is shown as "les herbs" but when spoken, by convention, an "h" is silent after the article. So "un hÔtel" is pronounced "un_'Ôtel."

However, this is in French and only in French. To drop the "h" in English is pretentious and wrong.

Therefore, while a French chef can say "les 'erbs," everyone else should say "the herbs."

And to drop the "h" where there is no article is simply to demonstrate a lack of understanding of language and a failure of basic literacy.




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