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  5. "He is a bad boy."

"He is a bad boy."

Translation:C'est un mauvais garçon.

January 30, 2013

55 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrHazard

The best differentiation I have found is here: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est

It requires close reading several times!

Briefly, "C'est" precedes a noun, so "C'est un mauvais garçon,"

"Il est" precedes adjectives, so "Il est mauvais."

As someone noted below, formal French might use "il est" where "c'est" is used, but apparently it sounds wrong nowadays in spoken French.

Read the full page at the above link; it's worth the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregHullender

This was an excellent reference. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrHazard

Glad to be of help. Happy learning!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ulisserax

Very good reference!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NavGirdhar

Thanks for the refences. I almost picked the right answer but last moment split the decision. I was thinking, it should be "C'est un..."


[deactivated user]

    Thanks for the link!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VasudevanT

    The article is spot on. Thank you


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arkonide

    Thank you so much for this reference. This one clears up any misunderstanding still lingering with me.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlackSea

    I'm not quite sure why it can't be "il est"...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bucko

    The noun 'garçon' has been modified here by the adjective 'mauvais'. 'Il est' can only be used with unmodified nouns, and since the noun has been modified here you have to use "c'est" instead.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/traherne

    That's not really true. Google "il est un homme dangereux" or "il est un mauvais exemple" for example and you'll get hits from reputable sources like Le Figaro. I understand it's formal and pretty much absent from colloquial french, but it's not "wrong".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cjmothershed

    But it says to use c'est when the noun has an article (un, une, etc) but don't all nouns have articles then? Does it have to do with the article or the adjective? If there was no "mauvais" would it just be "Il est un garcon"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

    Some nouns like those of professions don't require an article.

    Eg; il est professuer. He is a professor.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sylvantier

    Is there any particular reason for that?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Macklebeed

    Nope, it is just how the language is. Its like asking is there any need for genders? Nope. Just the way the language is..


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gekokujo

    don't say that to a feminist


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuFarge

    So, how can one differentiate the subtle difference between 'this is a bad boy' and 'he is a bad boy'?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xbecenti15

    In this case, more context is require to differentiate those two sentences. "Ceci est un mauvais garçon ." - This is a bad boy "C'est un mauvais garçon ." He/This/That is a bad boy. You could say it either way, but the former sentence is if you want to emphasize/specify the difference.

    <pre> Disregard the fact that you posted this question two years ago and obviously know the difference by now but for the people who are starting, this should help you. </pre>

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sarahdee92

    This was a pretty big surprise to me... I can't believe I never picked this up in my years of French instruction...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brenna875906

    I learned french at the university level and I have been using duolingo to brush up. I never learned that C'est must be used in a situation such as this....Il est should be fine to use as well...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Urien227

    As a native french speaker I agree.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jimbop85

    Is "c'est un garçon mauvais" equally valid, or different in any way?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gareth321

    The adjective comes before the noun in certain circumstances. Another user taught me "BANGS: beauty, age, numbers, good/bad, size".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/melon2020head

    Thank you all for your comments; they were a great refresher!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/suzzz

    Thanks for the comments. C'est and Il est have been hard to differentiate...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lapri

    In the previous exercise in previous level, I think it was "Il est un mauvais ..." for "He is a bad boy". After reading the comments here, I still do not quite understand.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/T.A.R.D.I.S.girl

    question: how does 'C'est' stand for 'he is' answer:?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabsAguilera

    Shouldn't this sentence in English be "This is a bad boy" instead of "He is a bad boy"? I don't quite understand all the explanations above.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/northernguy

    Rules regarding the verb to be.

    Nouns: Unmodified nouns invoke the il/elle est form. Modified nouns invoke the c'est form. Most nouns require a modifier in French. Professions don't require a modifier in French.

    He is a professor = allows an unmodified noun structure = Il est professeur

    He is a boy = requires an article thus the modified noun structure = C'est un garçon.

    Adjectives and Adverbs. Stand alone adjectives and adverbs can refer to a person or a situation. Those that describe a person require the il est form. Those describing a situation invoke c'est.

    He is bad = describes person = il est mauvais.

    It is bad = describes situation = c'est mauvais

    See http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa032500.htm for a better explanation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guwri

    I like Mr. Hazard's explanation


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PlatypusPerson

    J'ai deux questions... 1. Why can "mauvais" be used before and after "garcon"? 2. Does "c'est" refer to girls, too? Ex: "C'est une fille mauvaise"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrHazard

    "Mauvais" is one of those adjectives that goes before the noun—that's just the way it is. It can't be used after "garcon." Most adjective go after the noun. Some can go in both positions and the meaning changes.

    See here for a list of adjectives that go before the noun: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/standard/french/grammar/adjectives/revision/1/

    "C'est" refers to any noun on the predicate side of a sentence: "This/that/it/she/he is..." C'est Père Noël, c'est un lapin, c'est une fille." etc.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PlatypusPerson

    You, sir, have earned yourself a Lingot. Merci beaucoup!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/upkaran

    Pls clarify I thought C'est was only to be used in masculine + singular context


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/traherne

    Ce is neutral when it comes to gender. Think of it as "this". You're right that it SHOULD only be used for singular nouns (C'est une femme -> Ce sont des femmes). Orally and/or informally, though, "C'est des femmes" is acceptable.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrHazard

    I don't think so. "C'est la femme" is a good transation for "She/that/this/is the woman."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sancerrepolly13

    Great reference MrHazard Merci!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/katiebeatle

    It is telling me to not have a space around the apostrophes but I can't fix that!!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yarjor

    I put mauvais after garçon and it got accepted. Why is that?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nda9cwzs

    Why cant it be "il est"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yarjor

    That's because in French you don't use the form Il est + noun, only Il est + adjectif. For nouns you use C'est instead, as in this sentence. This article explains it better than I can: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EricksonAd

    According to Duo, the correct translation is either "C'est un garçon mauvais" or "C'est un mauvais garçon". I thought BANGS dictated that mauvais come before the noun. Can anyone explain why both structures are acceptable?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zeusjp

    "Il est" precedes adjectives, so "Il est mauvais." I see!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AyaAlyousef7

    why is "il est un mauvais garcon" incorrect?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xobzoo

    I was trying to use "mal garçon" — what's the distinction between "mal" and "mauvais", or their proper usage?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/papulaattori

    I'm wondering the same!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/selenebonafini

    How do you know what adjectives to put before the noun and which ones you put after?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rudiwil

    why can't it be il eat


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adityadapro

    I wrote "il est un mauvais garcon" but it refused to accept that! Why!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasmineCHA552654

    il est - he is both are logically correct


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dave66539

    I wrote 'il est...' which was wrong. The page showed the correction and explanation of when to use "c'est" (with an article before a noun) ...that is an excellent help. Thank you for the explanation!!!

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