https://www.duolingo.com/ErwinMTS

"She is a person."

January 11, 2013

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ErwinMTS

> In French, you have to use "c'est" for modified nouns (e.g. "C'est une fille" for "She is a girl"), but you have to use "il est" or "elle est" for unmodified nouns (e.g. "Elle est m├ędecin" for "She is a doctor").

Isn't 'personne' an unmodified noun? If DuoLingo's right, can someone explain what an unmodified noun is? (I thought it meant that the gender wasn't clear based on the noun. For example: is it "elle est chanteuse" or "c'est chanteuse"?)

January 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Remy
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This is complex point is well explained in this link:

http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm

In this example, "personne" is modified by the determiner "une". (You have to say: "C'est une personne.", and you cannot say "Elle est une personne.").

In your example, it is the same as the example given in the link above for "avocat" (lawyer):

You can either say: - "C'est une chanteuse" (where "chanteuse" is modified by the determiner "une"- She is a particular singer) or - "Elle est chanteuse" (where "chanteuse" is unmodified, and designates the occupation in general).

January 11, 2013
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