Is the "l'" in "l'un" necessary, or would "C'est un de mes meilleurs amis" work, too?
Does the 'l' in l'un the contraction of 'le' + 'un'? So the 'le' indicates 'he'? Could someone provide one more example where we could use l'un in a sentence, preferably with a different sentence structure? Thank you.
"l' " is the elided version of "le" (or la), definite article, in this sentence, to be placed in front of a noun or an adjective (starting with a vowel or a non aspirate H):
- l'ami, l'amie - l'homme, l'habitude - l'immense océan (masc), l'immense mer (fem)
- "l'un / l'une et l'autre" = lit. "the one and the other" (in this case "un/une" = one, not "un" as an indefinite article)
l' /le is a pronoun (direct object form of "il") when placed in front of a verb.
- je l'aime bien = I like him/her/it
1)But duolingo didnt accept ,"He is the one of my best friends.". Why would you say,"l'un" if you dont mean ,"THE one."
Also, I thought "les meilleurs" means "the BEST", and only "meilleurs" means "BETTER." So, why doesnt,"mes meilleurs" mean "my better"?
"He is the one of my BETTER friends."
2) How do I find out when "C'est" means "He is" and when it means "It is".
You can say "c'est (l')un de mes meilleurs amis", with or without the article "l'".
But in English, you cannot say "the one of my best friends" in this sentence.
- meilleur(e)(s) is a comparative adjective.
- le(s) meilleur(s), la(les) meilleure(s) are superlative adjectives or nouns.
"my better friends" and "my best friends" both translate to "mes meilleur(e)s ami(e)s" because French does not distinguish those.
2) If "c'est" is followed by a modified noun, it can mean "he", "she" or "it", depending on the noun:
- c'est ma fille = she is my daughter
- c'est un beau jour = it is a beautiful day
- c'est le cousin de ma mère = he is my mother's cousin
If "c'est" if followed by an adjective or an adverb, the translation can be "it", "this" or "that"
- c'est sympa ! = it/this/that is nice!
- c'est beaucoup mieux = it/this/that is much better.
- c'est bien comme ça = it/this/that is good like that.
@sitesurf, You said,""my better friends" and "my best friends" both translate to "mes meilleur(e)s ami(e)s" because French does not distinguish those."
so can we say.
"ce sont mes meilleurs amis." = These are my best friends. Is this right.
ce sont mes meilleurs chevaux."- These are my best horses.
In english you'd say That's one of my best friends, or This is one of my best friends, or iif they are approaching from a distance something like hey look there, it's one of my best friends. Doesn't matter in English that it is a person in the context given.
Why is "l' " used here? What is the significance of it? It doesn't really seem to fit very well into the translated sentence
It just flows better with "l' ", but you can say "c'est un..." (with a T liaison).
The comparative form is usually used in a comparison. In English it would be more common to say "He is one of my best friends." You could say "He is a better friend than Tom.", but of course that is not this sentence.
Because your best friends are human beings, so "he" is the pronoun you should use.
You would use it if the sentence were: it is one of my best books (c'est l'un de mes meilleurs livres).
That would back translate to "the one of my best friends" or "my best friends' one"
I read this as "it is the one of my best friends' " as in an object that is possessed by a group of my best friends. So I can tell the two apart, how would I say this in French? Thanks!
"It is the one of my best friends'" = C'est celui/celle de l'un de mes meilleurs amis.
I put "She is one of my best friends" and was marked wrong. I thought C'est could mean "He is" or "She is" or even "It is" depending on context. How would I say "She is one of my best friends"