It would appear pdflatex (with [frenchb,english]{babel}) does not do hyphenation of words with an apostrophe.

For example, I wrote "l'arithmétique" which was not hyphened, and the commands \showhyphens{arithmétique} \showhyphens{l'arithmétique} give ari-thmé-tique and l'arithmétique.

I read the question Hyphenation of words containing apostrophes and while very interesting, I am not inclined to define hyphenation for all words which might be used with apostrophes, especially when another hyphenation might (very, very low chance...) be used elsewhere in the document. I liked the adapted suggestion \newcommand{\?}{'\nobreak\hspace{0pt}} from egreg in the topic, but futhermore I'd like to be able to type an apostrophe to get an apostrophe...

  • 3
    I get l'arith-mé-tique; are you perhaps using \showhyphens before \begin{document}? Or perhaps you don't load \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}?
    – egreg
    Jan 2, 2015 at 13:40
  • I put the showhyphens just before the occurrence of "l'arithmétique" which is not hyphened. I use \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} %% fonts \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} \usepackage[frenchb,english]{babel} \usepackage{lmodern} \usepackage{aecompl}
    – luneart
    Jan 2, 2015 at 13:53
  • 1
    Please add to your question a minimal example of code showing the issue. And don't load aecompl.
    – egreg
    Jan 2, 2015 at 13:55
  • Hinted by your comment, I tried disabling each of those packages one by one, but with no changes. I checked having latest babel, and I'm quite lost here.
    – luneart
    Jan 2, 2015 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


If you enter \usepackage[frenchb, english]{babel} your document is considered as written mainly in (American) English. You should write \usepackage[english,frenchb]{babel} or better \usepackage[english,french]{babel} as recommended by Daniel Flipo, author of the frenchb module.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.