https://www.duolingo.com/audrysilva

C'est or il est

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How do I know when to use c'est or il est to state a fact?

3 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
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"Il est" is used when "que" is added in the sentence, for example, "Il est possible qu'il vienne". "C'est" is used for short answers, or when there's no conjunctive in the sentence, for example: Est-ce qu'il est possible qu'elle vienne?-Oui, c'est possible", or "Elle viendra, c'est possible". "C'est" is also used to determine nouns, for example: "C'est un chat", you would never say "il est un chat", it's grammatically incorrect. Also, incorrect is to say "C'est possible que", you must always say "il est possible que". "Il est" is also used if there is sole adjective, nationality, etc. for example: "Il est americain", but "c'est un americain". :)

These are the main rules. Hope it helps. Happy learning! :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/janncole

The sentence ' le livre c'est le mien' -one of duolingo's - I suspect is an emphatic stress of the book is mine, but for a non -emphatic version is le livre set le mien correct?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
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For a non-emphatic version it would be "C'est mon livre". :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prol3psis
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The emphatic stress is gained by left-dislocation (dislocation à gauche), typical for colloquial language, which Duolingo seems to like. The non-emphatic version would be "Le livre est le mien" or "Le livre est à moi".

The above explanations are wrong by the way. I suggest consulting some good grammar books as this is a pretty tricky subject. It would take a few pages to explain it adequately.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/janncole

Thanks for this tip. I looked it up on the web and it has cast a little light into a few of the difficulties I have had in The French language.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prol3psis
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Glad to hear. If you're in for a laugh: http://www.slate.fr/story/92325/hollande-dislocation-gauche xD And do consult those grammar books on c'est/ il est and other variants, if you have time. Unfortunately it's one of those things that aren't that simple.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/janncole

Thanks again, more food for thought. I have consulted a grammar book on the c'est v il and do get the more obvious ones but some are still cloudy for me. This aspect of the subject has given me a little ray of light.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/watchudoin

Thanks for the explanation! Can you please help make sense of another sentence given in one of the exercises here:

C'est génial que tu sois allée à Paris!

Shouldn't it be "Il est génial que..."?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toussaintlou
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c’est – used to describe a situation, modified adverb, modified noun, proper name and stressed pronoun.

il est – used to describe a person, unmodified adverb, unmodified noun and prepositional phrase.

When describing people and things with être in French, you usually can’t use a personal subject pronoun like “elle”. Instead, you must use the impersonal pronoun “ce”, which can also mean “this” or “that”. Note that “ce” is invariable, so it can never be “ces sont”. You’re going to miss this one in Duolingo a few times before you finally accept this fact.

C’est un homme. — He’s a man. / This is a man. / That is a man. Ce sont des chats. — They’re cats. / These are cats. / Those are cats.

If an adjective, adverb, or both appear after être, then use the personal pronoun.

Elle est belle. — She is beautiful. (Or “It is beautiful.”) Il est très fort. — He is very strong. (Or “It is very strong.”)

As you know, nouns generally need determiners, but one important exception is that professions, nationalities, and religions can act as adjectives after être. This is optional; you can also choose to treat them as nouns.

He is a doctor. — Il est médecin. / C’est un médecin.

Il est Il est médecin. (describes person) C’est un médecin. (describes situation)

C’est should be used when using an adjective to make a general comment about (but not describe) a thing or situation.

C’est normal ? — Is this normal? Non, c’est étrange. — No, this is strange

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lemacaron

Thank you

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lemacaron

Thank you for asking this question; I never knew there was a difference until now! I've been taking French for 4 years and I've been practicing with Duolingo on the side, yet I have never stopped to think if there was a difference between "C'est" and "il est".

So, I've started to do a bit of research and have come to a conclusion: every source I've used includes information parallel with @toussaintlou 's reply. This user is 100% correct. Now I know how to use "C'est" and "il est" properly!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toussaintlou
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Thank you. You made me smile today. Merci, beaucoup.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/klinskio

I was once really confused on this topic as well. The translation to c'est is it, while il est is he is.

3 years ago
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